Nemesis just stood there, everything passed at a crawl before she moved. Her face had fading print on her cheek from her student’s rage. It was bound to happen; it was only a matter of time before Ty would hit her breaking point, but to happen now? The timing was awful. How long, Nemesis wondered, had she been like this? Either way Ty would leave and with her family thankfully too into themselves, no one would realize they were short one goddess. Be safe, Nemesis silently prayed to her student’s leaving back as she let this first hit go.
The only way Ty would be brought into this war was by her father or the girl’s own will, but Nemesis would prefer it not forced by emotions alone. Her hand held her sword tightly, her eyes buried themselves for a moment into Hermes ready for him to pursue his daughter and then she would stop him. Sigh. Part of it was because she cared for her student but the other was purely selfish reason, bring her weakness into battle could cost them the war. Besides the pain was…unpleasant.
She would rather wait for Athene to bring them into order, back to the matter at hand but there was greater chance that Echidna and Typhon would crushed them first. Ty’s words echoed in her head, regret of uttering those words would burn her soul, there was much more beneath the goddess’s surface than Nemesis first realized. Already her brief reunion was sliced short by this family and yet other millennia would pass-if Nemesis lived- before it would happen again. Ty’s state would only worsen by that time before it healed. It bothered her that mental wounds weren’t like physical, clearly visible and easier to mend. Maybe later she would ask for help but one thing at a time. Sigh, this was going to be her longest day yet.
“Now with Ty's drama done,” Nemesis, rubbed her cheek a bit before shifted over to Persephone waiting patiently until she was through with Hera, arms crossed in front of her,” Ty’s outside cooling after her recent… flare-up. First it seems we must bring order to this family before we can learn of the Underworld’s condition. Then we can figure how to approach the situation. Any notions on getting their attention?”
Last edited by Fallenreaper; 10-26-2011 at 07:25 PM.
Hera was almost startled by the voice that came from her side so lost in reverie had she been. For a second it seemed like the voice of a stranger and she hadn’t thought there were any of those after she’d somewhat solved the mystery of the blue jeans. She looked up and swiveled her head upon her elegant neck and found herself inexplicably facing her husband’s youngest girl. She blinked at the girl for a few moments before the words she’d heard words sunk in.
For a second there was rage in Hera’s famously lovely eyes. Stark rage, the kind that made her husband’s lover run and hide no matter their divinity. She flashed this look at the young goddess and was ready to let loose a volley of bile and spite to tell this girl her place when she stopped short and looked at the girl fully for the first time in, forever really. Persephone looked worn and battered which made sense, she’d lost her husband after all and if rumors were true it was the loss of a husband she actually loved and cherished. Hera felt her ire trickle away as she realized just how much she had always envied this little slip of a girl whose husband actually loved her. An elegant hand reached up and gently covered her mouth in a vain effort to hide the shift in emotions that took her upon that realization.
Hera’s eyes though, they betrayed her, filling with slight tears and for a second the Queen of heaven showed this girl, her niece and Sister Queen her pain and vulnerability. She let the girl see her envy for a second before she reached out and took the girl in her arms and gave her an awkward if heart-felt hug, whispering into her ear.
“I am sorry child. Sorry for your loss, sorry for a great many things. I have become so much the role I have been forced to play that I sometimes forget to play the parts I want as well.” She pulled back slowly, letting her hands slide along the smooth arms of the girl, her eyes holding onto the girl’s own trying to let her see her sincerity.
“I don’t know what I want from, your brother is it? But I can assure you this has nothing to do with Zeus and everything to do with me trying to figure out who exactly I am. It’s been a long time coming and I am a little old for such changes so they may take a little while to settle in. But for now one role I would like to try on is that of Aunt. Do you think you might let me? I think you might have some understanding on how it is to change, you seemed to have learned some new tricks since the last time I saw you Sister-Queen.”
Athene regarded her sister and wondered if she’d made a mistake. She’d counted on Artemis being the stronger of the two and while that was likely still the case, being the strongest eggshell wasn’t really an accomplishment. It was done, she’d assigned them and there was little she could do at this point but hope someone with sense accompanied them. Chances were they would have gone anyway, this way she had a chance to send one of her little agents with them willingly. She quickly rubbed the bridge of her strong nose in the onset of a headache before she wandered off and sought out further trouble to smooth out.
She cast her eyes about the room and tried to remind herself it wasn’t her job to lead them anymore. Her Father was among them, he was king it was his job to rule and hers to sit by the side and whisper sense and wisdom into his ear. The trouble was she’d taken up the mantle for too long to put it down, even if she wanted too. She looked about for her father and much to her chagrin she realized he wasn’t in the room. She felt a sinking feeling at being abandoned but then shook her head. There was no way he would have left, not her father, not the King they all needed.
She grabbed the elbow of one of the Fauns who had made his way trippingly back inside and was sheepishly going about his duties. She asked him where Zeus was and the silly creature flashed her a bright and lascivious smile and pointed towards the door. With a cool gaze and a quick nod of thanks she made her way towards the open door. Her grey eyes swept over the ground as she paused in the doorway and to her relief she saw him. He stood, having been clearly interrupted on his return trip and was talking with his brother. She felt inordinately heartened by this. She and her uncle had never quite seen eye to eye, especially not after the whole Athens thing, but he was a good man and would hopefully temper her father’s rashness. It would save her some time if he did. She was about to turn and see about gathering people when a bass rumble of a voice caught her ears and caused her eyes to seek out the source.
Standing down below was her favorite sibling, her quiet affection for him possibly eclipsing that even that of her affection for her father. He was standing on a landing speaking with the casually clad and as yet unidentified family member. Athene felt a little flutter of nerves deep in her belly at the sight of her brother which was quickly followed by a surge of anger at herself for being so impractical. It made Artemis’ earlier words grate even more.
"I don't think any of us can be trusted to act rationally. Not even you Athene, not even you."
Feeling a flash of irritation she screwed down all errant emotions but for affection and started down the steps towards him, her grey eyes seeking out the seamed and blunt features that she adored. Her smile was genuine as she held out a hand towards him and called out his name.
“Hephaestus, I am so pleased to see you. I hope you bring some rationality with you, it is sorely needed.”
Last edited by Lillian Thorne; 10-26-2011 at 09:18 PM.
Granted that the Sungod was drunk, Ares had paid him not much heed. He had to wonder though.. wondered if the drunkard god was even aware of what he was blabbering about. For a moment, he'd thought that Apollo was merely drunk from an emotional breakdown entirely and not due to the liquor in hand. By the sound of it, it looked like the Olympian that had sat not far from him just moments ago; the God of Light, had just turned gloomy and was no longer as bright as he used to be. As if the Sungod was behind a thick, dark veil of clouds and heavy with the waters from Poseidon's realm, ready to pour upon earth. As if he was in his own plague and in need of his own healing and medicine. Ares found it rather amusing for the god who could see the truth and prophecized its forthcoming but was unable to see and prepared himself for such dire times. Instead, Apollo chose to linger over what was already lost to him eons ago. At least for Ares, he was dealing with what's now and what's to come, or so he'd thought.
Tch! Pathetic! Thought he, who'd whined over the Olympian's ignorance for his standings among them not too long ago.
As much as how Ares had wanted to tear the Sungod into pieces for his twin to pick up later, he just couldn't find the slightest hint of satisfaction from doing so. Not when it was obvious that Apollo was already broken. Naught could be gained from killing the god who couldn't make a stand for himself. There's no challenge and was not worthy for him. Then again, when had he cared if their worthy as long as there's bloodshed. But not here. Not where the Olympians were gathered and not where he had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
His fists tightened as the words rang in his ears. To mock him alone was enough to rile him up but to bring his lover's name with those filthy lips deserved to be punished. Yet, Ares shut his eyes and tightened his jaws. In his mind were the faces of those that were gathered. No, not here, he'd thought. Not with Zeus, Athene, Poseidon and those that's capable of distracting him were all together. He would clearly be beaten.
Zeus would probably sent Athene alone to face him or his brother, Poseidon. But with Aphrodite by his side, more might join in to aid them in vanguishing the Wargod. Athene, he wouldn't hesitate to finish her off if given the chance. Just to make a point to his Father, to earn his rightful standings and to avenge their unsettled bouts. With Poseidon however, Ares just couldn't make himself to confront his Uncle. The Seagod was the one that had instructed Hephaestus to release both Aphrodite and him from the snare that Cripplegod had made and to bring Ares before a hearing. If it wasn't for Poseidon, he wasn't sure how long the tormenting humiliation would be.
Aphrodite. Thinking about her was enough to calm the raging storm. At least for a moment if not entirely. The goddess who's capabled of persuading the Wargod into changing sides when times of war, the goddess who's capabled of coaxing the storm that resides within him and the goddess whom he would do anything for. Ares was calmed. From listening to a drunkard god to thinking of vengeful bout, now came the realization of dire news. His heart skipped, missing beats on the warmongering drum as he pictured an image of what had came to surface, of what had came to haunt them once more; Typhon.
Hide. Together with Aphrodite by his side. Just like that ...girl.. had said. To eek out what time there's left for them to be together, for him to finally be reunited with his special goddess. For as much as they could get before Typhon and Echidna could find them. At least their dismissal from the earth's surface would not be filled with regrets. Better than diving into the opening jaws of the monster who'd probably be waiting for the Olympians to charge in. This was not his fight. He knew he couldn't win.
Ares wasn't aware that his hands were shaking until he brought the bottle up to his lips for another drink. He paused and looked down upon them. He was trembling. Typhon. The name itself sent shivers down his spine. The image of the monster flashing before his mind was enough to send him having the notion of turning into a boar once more. He took another long drag, hoping the affect would kick in and calm the state he was in. He slammed the empty bottle back on the table and gestured to the bartender for another.
Not even Zeus could face Typhon now. Not when his power was diminished. If the King of Gods couldn't do it, how more could he? The bartender returned with another bottle and the Wargod took another long drag. He paused, gulped in and evaluated their chances... no.. they will fail and with that, he continued to empty the bottle. Ares hoped he wouldn't be sober enough to be drawn by the temptation of war if the group decided to draw him in later. Before he could empty the bottle, the Wargod already begun to gesture for another.
Run. We should run. Hide even. Like how we used to do in Egypt. Zeus could be Amun-Re again and Hera could turned back to the white cow, Isis. The drunkard god Apollo as Horus, the crow and Artemis back to being Pasht, the cat.
Ares was lost in his thought as he stared over the table before him with the bottle in hand.
Hermes glanced to Apollo. He was so lovely when he was all caught up in his own emotions. Hermes just watched knowing there was no way he could respond. Of course Apollo was right. They were all dramatic and how could Hermes ask them to be anything else. It wasn’t Apollo’s melancholy anger that worried him at all.
It was Tyche he worried about. Hermes watched her leave. She was a bundle of unchecked emotions not unlike Apollo. But her flares did not hold the subtle sad love that Apollo’s did. She was young enough and undirected enough to have more unsettled anger and confusion. She hadn’t found her place.
Hermes looked over the room at his family and realized his expectations were once again held a bit too high. Although he would not say so, he loved this group. The explosive hate Apollo yelled about was there but even that woke them all. Without each other they sink into the mortal world of numb apathetic mundane lives. They needed each other. Hermes needed them.
It was the intense pain of killing the one you loved that put depth in Artemis eyes. It was the puff of self importance and inconsiderate direction that brought the wondrous powerful roar out of Zeus. It was the deep misery of loss that put the sweetness in Apollo’s song. It was the burning unfairness of unaccepted love that burned the force of Areas. Hermes loved them all.
He never expected them to come to his party and exchange embraces. He knew there would be words, bitter painful words. But that is what he wanted. Hermes had been in the human party part too long. He wanted to wake up his own emotions. He wanted to care. He wanted to hurt. Damn he just wanted to feel. He had hidden in his guilt over the last gathering too long. He wanted to feel all the mixed emotions his family so easily gives. Well, all of them except love and kindness.
And he wanted to show Ty. Show her that her own unsettled mixed up depressed burning anger was not something so strange or out of the ordinary. Sure she was unique but she was not so alone. It was in their family. Her family.
Hermes watched Nemesis’s attention turn toward organizing the family. That brought a chuckle to Hermes and the opportunity to just pass her by. Let Persephone deal with little miss control. Sure Nemesis line them up, Hermes thought, and give them all orders, that should keep you occupied. With that he ducked around Hera as she hugged…wait was she really being soft and all squishy like? Who would have guessed that?
On his way out he passed his father and uncle. They were speaking in an almost friendly understanding tone. He had to stop and look at them again. Will wonders never cease? He almost wanted to stay and enjoy the special moment. But where was Ty?
She was walking away so fast Hermes had to use his flight to catch her. When he finally did he walked next her not saying anything. He just matched her stride for stride, pumping his arms in a mimic anger of hers. “What makes you so angry?” He asked in a tone that stroked and teased all at the same time. “You let a name caller fill you with rage?”
“Ty,” he stopped and took a gently hold of her arm. “Take a breath and look again. You can be mad. You can be upset and disappointed in all of us. But that doesn’t change the fact that we are family. I am in your blood, you are in my heart. Now is the time to stop and look at all of us again. Stop and take a part in this. Pretending you do not belong will only make you feel more alone.” He held out his hand to her.
Tyche didn’t hear her father at first, her mind twisted in the self-focus her family was famous for. It wasn’t until she felt his hand grip her arm and snap her back into reality, eyes hurt and upset peered at her dad. The pace was stopped and the words tumbled out despite her attempts to keep them in. It felt like a snake ball had nested in her stomach, burned by her own words and actions. Green eyes saw him while his words touched her ears but he misunderstood. It wasn't just anger, there was more bottled up that threaten to tear her apart. Tyche was at her breaking point, those emotions and bitter feelings ate away at her like acid that couldn’t be rubbed off.
“Don’t you think I deserve it? Apollo used me to piss off Ares, caused more stress to mom. It is painfully clear she never wanted me and the fact I can’t make her happy, my being is nothing more than misery to her! Ares is bound to figure I am her daughter because even HE is not that dense which will cause him to hate her and even more I am jealousy of him. Heck telling him that will probably tick him off more when all I want to do is tear his head off. Hades is dead and do you think it isn’t my fault? I walked away believing them all immortal, undying and come back to find that I wasn’t there to protect them. Or even be with him when he died to say good bye. It wasn’t fair and I wasn’t there when I should have been.
My only skill could end up killing my family if it lands on the wrong side or at best gives our enemies a hang nail. I can’t fight except with my fists, something I highly doubt will even tickle this threat I haven’t even seen or know shit about. Another reason I can’t fight because every time I get hurt, Nemesis feels a fraction of its hurt which could cost us the battle that is if anyone survives it in the first place. How much more can I burden my family, how much more can I hurt them when in truth I am not even in their lives? Is that my role in this family? To top this off I just spilled my guts to my fickle father who for some reason or another has the most ungrateful daughter in the whole universe…”
Ty breath was shortened by her fury; her snake pit… was slowly dying. She hadn’t had a talk like this since her friend Abercio, a mortal who listened when she spilled out her troubles. The way they met was what she felt like, drowning at sea and needing to be saved. Tyche needed to vent and release her emotions but her family had their own problems without piling her own on top. Their own plights were far greater and ran very deep still they managed to deal with them. Unfortunately she couldn’t anymore once she had begun. Impulsively she wrapped about her father, her arms about his neck and the side of her head pressed into his shoulder while she let everything out that had dragged her down.
“To top it off, I slapped Nemesis and pretty much told her to die in battle just because I let my temper get the better of me. The worse part I meant it too about making her life a walking nightmare and even felt better after I slapped her. She’s not all bad just over protective but she has more than enough right when the fates are cruel enough to bind us in a way that we balance, unable to escape each other if we wanted to. I see the pain in her eyes when she watches martial arts teachers proudly display their student’s fighting skills, a hollowness in her that she can’t do the same. It kills her inside.
I don’t know what to do anymore because it feels like there is poison running though my veins and I wish for it to consume me already.” At the end a hiccup popped breaking the tense air from her outburst. Her face salted, wet, and red from the tear that curved about her cheeks ruined the beauty inherited from her mother. She squeezed tighter hoped to escape these terrors that seemed to dog her.
“I bet the fates are laughing their wrinkly old asses off just watching our family,” Tyche spoke while she rubbed her eyes raw and pulled slightly to look at her father in his face to hang on his next words,” then again that’s probably all that’s left of the three hags today. So what do I do now?”
Hermes held his daughter. As she pulled away he smiled and wiped his finger under her eyes catching the tears and smearing them over her face. “You cry. You yell. You curse the fates.” He paused and touched his forehead to hers letting her release the last few bottled up tears.
“And you listen for a just a minute.” He pulled his heads back. “You suffer from the same disease all Olympian have. Self importance. You think you are responsible for your mother’s happiness, Ares obsessive needs, and Hade’s death? You can feel, the longing for love and forgiveness, the ache of missing someone, but don’t misjudge the feelings of those pains for taking them on as your burden. You are but one star in a sky full of them. The fate of this family does not lie solely in your hands. In the same way, as much pain as there is in Nemesis connections there is love and concern as well. How can there be one without the other?”
Hermes gently put his arm around Ty and spun them both around. “I don’t have a great answer, Ty. If I did I would share it with everyone. You especially. I have failed you one thousand times. And I could curl myself into an emotional ball and roll away from you worried I might do so again.” He rumbled his hand in her hair as they began to walk back to his party, his family. “I will do so again, in some way or another. And then you can cry and yell and curse.”
“If there is anything I can say it would be to allow yourself to feel those things and them let the emotion go. If you keep it caught inside you it grows. Now that is easier said than done. You will walk right back in there and still look for love and acceptance in your mother’s eyes. But if you accept and know that it is easier to feel.”
He stopped and allowed the closeness between them grow. If only they could remember these moments as much as they remembered the pain. Oh well, back into the room and into the family.
She stood still as Hera embraced her, blinking in such utter confusion. She'd never seen her step-mother and aunt so tender in all her life. Persephone had missed the time in their lives when Hera had been sweet and loving and not burnt out and bitter like she had been for most of the girls memory. But slowly her own hands did come up to take hold of Hera and embrace her back for a moment.
But if the embrace had surprised her, the words that she uttered surprised her even more. Was she really apologizing? And after her father had declared her better than his son by her. This was a very strange day already and she wasn't for sure what to do about that as Hera pulled back and went on. The girl nodded dumbly at her for a moment while she got her thoughts together and slowly, a smile started to tug up the corners of her mouth.
"Of course," she said with another nod and a soft laugh. "And if you are indeed pursuing Areiôn for you, and not for Father, than you have my permission to try." It felt strange saying the latter. Her being protective of a sibling she'd over looked for far too long. But she didn't want to lose him so quickly either in her father's rage. Someone in their family had to stick up for the sibling besides the twins after all, and it looked like it would be her just then.
"I'm sorry as well," she went on, looking down to their hands together in front of her. "I'm sorry that I didn't try to be something more to you than just, well than just another bastard child of your husbands." She gave the Queen of heaven, the total opposite domain from her, a self-deprecating smile before her attention was pulled over to a goddess she hadn't seen in even more time than the rest of them.
"You have obviously not been to very many family gatherings," she said with a laugh at Nemesis. "Getting all of their attentions won't be an easy task, even when we're all facing the same foes our attentions cannot be focused."
The Moon Goddess watched her sister walk away and she stood alone for the first time all night. She didn't know what to do now. Should she find Apollo? Should they be off on the hunt right away? She didn't even have her bow, and while she wasn't going to need it, it just didn't feel right going out without it. She'd just have to either go get it or go without. Or she could ask her twin to share perhaps.
But where was her twin? She turned in a circle, looking around the room at all her family milling about through the now reforming crowd of nymphs and fauns. But she got distracted in her spin, sharp eyes scanned all the men around her that were not direct family, hoping foolishly that he was still there. That she might catch a glance of him and have a few moments alone with him before she had to turn him into the rest of her family. Apollo had gotten his, why hadn't she been able to have hers?
She couldn't find him though, no matter how closely she looked. She couldn't find her Orion again. Finally she stopped, looking away from all of her family towards one of the walls as she collected herself together again, holding back the tears that were threatening to come up again.
She was the stronger one.
Finally she looked away from the wall and decided that she should find Apollo and let him know the plan so they could be on their way with anyone who wanted to and thought that they could help. She padded towards the door, dragging her feet some because she didn't know what kind of mood her dearest brother was in.
Hephaestus grunted quietly at Apollo's remark. He started to think of an apt reply, but the Sun God rose and descended the steps. Just like always. Everyone too busy and too involved in their dramatics to pay Hephaestus much mind, but the God of the Forge had come to expect as much from the Pretty Ones. Then, speaking of "pretty," Hephaestus caught sight of an unexpected face that brought a small smile to his beard. Areiôn. Hephaestus had often shoed the immortal stallion so long ago. He even recalled a few quiet moments he'd spent muttering his woes to the horse while he worked, when nobody else was around to listen. Likely, Areiôn wouldn't even remember, but it was still good to see the transformed immortal about and looking so well. Yet another face Hephaestus would have missed out on had he stayed at home like he'd wanted.
Hephaestus returned the respectful nod and received Areiôn's words with a grain of salt. "Never would've guessed," Hephaestus answered with a wry chuckle. Then he shook his head as the Prince of Horses passed on by. War council? Pah. More like a three-ring circus, no doubt, knowing his family. The God of the Forge had to wonder what war, though... Probably whatever Zeus had mentioned, but he'd let the knowledge find him in its own time. Whatever it was, he wasn't in the largest of hurries to uncover it. One thing about Trouble, you rarely had to go ferreting it out to find it.
He made it another step or two before another vision blocked his path. Will I ever make it up these cursed steps? he groused to himself. But as his eyes followed up an enticing peek of slim, well-toned leg and over a shapely gown that shone like steel, as he heard that voice and saw who it was, he couldn't be irritated in the least. He saw her extended hand and smiled, reaching for it automatically with the knowledge that his huge, beastly paw would swallow her fingers whole... but a crinkling sound drew his eye. He glanced down at the flowers gripped in his hand as if he'd forgotten they were there, while his cane was still gripped in his other. Maybe he had forgotten them for a moment.
The awkward smile he showed Athene now was almost apologetic as he shrugged and clambered up the next step to put him on the same tier as she. "For uh... er... for my wife," he explained haltingly as he indicated the flowers. He could not tell if Athene’s eyes judged him -- they never had, as far as he could see. But they didn’t have to, for him to feel unaccountably foolish all a sudden. To feel like the cuckolded husband still trying to please the cheating wife that had betrayed him and despised him. He knew a little of Athene's opinion of Aphrodite, and a little of her opinion of Hephaestus’ dogged attempts to Make His Marriage Work, despite all the problems. And out of all the family, hers was one of the opinions that actually mattered to him. But his loyalty would not let him find an easy agreement with her where Aphrodite was concerned.
“I would have brought something else, but they were all out of rationality at the Kroger.” The corner of his lips tugged into a grin as he hoped to dispel his uneasiness with a lighter tone. “I’m pleased to see you too, Athene,” he added warmly. He glanced her over with an arched eyebrow. “Though you’re making me feel like a rumpled hillbilly in that dress. Areiôn said there was a war council going on, not a beauty pageant.” He released a low, brief, rich chuckle. “You lot don’t have Paris judging up there, do you? The bastard better have given you an eleven out of ten.”
Areiôn once again had himself perched not at, but behind the bar, leaning against counter casually. Most of the Fauns were long since distracted by the nymphs, and the nymphs were giving them a merry chase. It was by far the only jovial thing at the party amongst the gloomiest—well, maybe, the second gloomiest—lot of immortal beings on the planet. Not that he blamed a single one.
Still, having little else to do at that moment he found himself fiddling with the Tetris app on his phone while sipping from what was his second? Third bottle of Southern Comfort? It mattered little; at the very least the drink was starting to work its hazy magic. Briefly he looked up, and the painting assaulted him as fiercely as any of Zeus' bolts.
The world glowed with light melding smoothly into the shadows, the contrast sharper, sweeter, almost comforting. The spotlights for the artwork were perfectly positioned to display the brightest hues, best shadows, and show the artwork with its fullest brilliance. The black stallion galloped at full speed, leading the warriors into the battle. Others behind were fighting, twisting. They were not going to make it. Riders would be thrown and the other horses would not be able to endure the onslaught of arrows, javelins, or the spears and swords as the war clashed.
He remembered the winds that day, and the dark sky about. He could still smell the blood and sweat lingering, and he heard the battle cries and shrieks of men winning and dying. He remembered the aftermath. Only he and his rider had survived. On that day, there were no poets to sing or tell of their achievements. No one else was left alive. Still, Areiôn found himself transfixed on the painting.
With sadness in his eyes, he realized that it wasn’t him in that painting, nor was it any of the heroes he ever knew. It was just a painting of some horse in some other time and place. Areiôn, took a long deep drink of the Southern Comfort.
His skin crawled, his knuckles white around his bottle of Southern Comfort. His face turned red as he yearned for the past. His true love and mistress the wind had long since abandoned him, she left him; or she was taken away from him. In either case, few women ever filled that void though it never stopped him from trying. Long hours on the road helped, but it was not the same. Growling subtly, Areiôn wanted to smash his bottle against the artwork and see it fall ruined and crumbled. In fact, he wanted to see it as ruined and crumbled as the rest of the party. No wonder the gods always chose mortal Champions for their bidding, the gods did not have the attention span to actually organize a campaign, let alone take back an entire Underworld nation. Areiôn found himself cursing out loud.
Though Areiôn was not to go about and try to sooth the egos of every single immortal, he knew he could at least help out in another way. Organize. Plan. Strategize.
Smirking, he held his bottle of Southern Comfort up to the painting of—not his—but someone’s triumph. “To heroic battles on blood-stained fields.”
The former Prince of Horses turned, took out a small notebook and a pen. He started writing.
Athene laughed low at Hephaestus’ compliments. She’d long ago ceased attaching any significance to them, or at lease she told herself that she had. Her eyes lingered on the flowers for a moment and she ignored the stab of pain the sight and explanation for them brought her. He was stuck on a very dry, very self destructive loop and as much as it pained her to watch it, to bear witness to his awkward attempts at the impossible she had promised herself years ago not to get involved again.
She smiled at him, honestly pleased to see him; he was her favorite and always had been. Her grey eyes were soft with fondness even though for a second she saw his face, raging above her, mad with Dionysus’ gift and drunk with fury. She didn’t let her reaction to the memory slip past her pleasant mask. She just smiled at him and rode it out a like a wave, even as Artemis’ words haunted her yet again.
"I don't think any of us can be trusted to act rationally. Not even you Athene, not even you."
She’d come to him to comfort him after his latest rejection from Aphrodite, words of wisdom and sense ready on her lips. But he hadn’t been rational, he’d been pushed too far one too many times by that faithless cow and it was she, Athene, who had borne the brunt of his rage. She remembered afterwards, how she’d crept away from him, sore and hurt and confused by what had just happened. She remembered looking back at him, seeing him lying there senseless and a deep shame had filled her as well as terror. She knew that if her father were to find out then he’d kill Hephaestus, finish the job that fall hadn’t finished. Even hurt and scared she couldn’t allow that, so she’d crept away and never told a soul. She’d cleaned herself up and left never knowing that what had just happened, the worst thing she’d ever experienced would give her the greatest gift, a son or at least as close as she’d ever get to one.
She shook her head, dislodging the memory and focusing with all her prodigious will on the moment. She turned, moving so that she was beside him and slipped her arm through his, the one holding the flowers and said, “Come, I need to call for order and sense and I feel better qualified for such a task with you at my side.”
She breathed in deep and felt deep contentment fill her at the scent of hot metal, grease and hard work that clung to him. It reminded her of all the times she’d come to his workshop to watch him work and discuss the nuances of his craft. Those memories were some of her favorite and even now just the scent was enough to send her back. As they walked she noted the change in his gait and wondered at it. She knew he was self-conscious about a great many aspects of his being, no thanks to the cow, but the change in his walk concerned her because it didn’t make sense on a logical level. She looked him up and down from under her lashes and saw no clear sign as to why this would be so. She wouldn’t ask him about it, she wouldn’t shame him so.
When they reached the top of the stairs and entered the silly reconstruction of her greatest temple she almost laughed when she saw the scene before her. They were facing their greatest enemy from old and their resources were so much less than they had been and somehow no one seemed all that concerned, there was still bickering and gossip and old battle fought again and again. It seemed to her suddenly, that it wasn’t their immortality or their current lack of power that was the tragedy here, it was their inability to really change or grow. Human’s had such amazing capacity for growth, change and innovation, but not so the gods. They were little more than manifestations of their purviews, playing their roles over and over. Some of their feuds went back thousands of years and each felt fresh and new to the participants. She found herself wondering, not for the first time whether they made the Myths or the Myths made them. She snorted and laughed at herself, philosophy and speculation on the eve of war was nearly as fruitless as the bickering had been.
Standing in the middle of the hall, her favorite sibling with his comforting presence on her arm she squared her shoulders, raised her head high and brought her fingers to her lips and whistled, a long loud note that penetrated between the worlds and filled the room reaching each and every divine ear in the vicinity, inside and out of the building. Her words, spoken softly but with genuine authority also carried in the same manner.
“I think perhaps the party needs to come to a close so that we might sit and talk about this latest news in a setting far more appropriate. Poor Charon needs quiet and we all need some answers and a plan. Does anyone here have a suggestion as to a location? Let’s not turn this into another debate, we learned some unfortunate lessons last time, let’s not forget them and suffer a similar cost again.”
She was attached frankly to his arm, afraid if she let go then she may never renter the party. This was the second time Ty was safe, happy, and so worried all at once. It made her nerves on edge. On the way back into the temple sandals were now “carelessly” lost, her feet were now as bare as her father’s. It would seem that the term Daddy’s girls ran in their family alot, now it seemed to include her dad and her relationship too. His love should have been enough for her… but she wanted some sign that her mom cared. Maybe, she thought, that was too much to expect from Aphrodite even when away from Ares.
There was Athene and …Hephaestus, another like herself that starved from attention and Tyche’s birth was simple more of a slap in the great metal artist’s face. It was odd how in the sense of Aphrodite’s lack of love they were so alike, both deprived from and tried to gain so vainly. She couldn’t help but wonder what her step father, strictly in terms of marriage, and blood uncle would say. The sentence alone should have been wrong from the very start farther reminding Tyche how weird she really was… no wonder she was messed up. It seems merry making was a great skill of the family or something, she could only guess before she passed on by it.
It had been a long time, that along did wonderful or painful things to her family. Uncertain she squeezed her father’s arm and kept her eyes down; there was no good way to approach this type of thing which didn’t enflame old wounds. That might explain why she avoided him like a disease on Olympus for the most part. The floor's cold caused her toes to curl up for warmth but she didn’t regret her decision to lose her shoes. Athene called with her loud commanding voice, she reminded Ty of that Xena the warrior princess a bit. She didn't bother watching, the tv happened to have a turn of bad luck when she walked by... The truth brought a smile to her lips even if the experience was well worth the lesson.
Tyche realized her mind had wandered, a sheep lost in its own peace and roamed from its meadow, and now her aunt called for attention which was less likely to be given. Still two sets of ears listening were better than none at all. When called for a safe place, it was a mystery why, her small and pointless apartment came into her mind. She shook her head and held her tongue; let someone else suggest a place more suited to the task at hand.
She stopped whipping her eyes about for Nemesis, her sword’s presence was by Persephone and the sight of her childhood friend caused her both painful sorrow and shameful joy. She had changed now that Tyche looked closer; then again their childhood was so far away now it was hard to realize things have changed. When she married Hades, the name jabbed her heart, Ty had lost her friend for a time and Demeter was a different immortal completely. Time was such a terrible thing and quickly running out.
She stopped not far from the bar when Ty decided to allow her father freedom. She didn't want him to tire from the unsatisfied need for touch and let her grip release slowly. They needed strength and not a childish display, still she did not stop her hands from resting across her middle in her natural grace. The redness had faded, only a tint of pink told of the sob and the rest of her tears were wiped away by her dad’s gentle hands. There she stood ready to now listen, a sudden sense of belonging Ty had missed pushed itself into her soul: her rightful place was among Her family.
“Blame Hermes, he doesn’t seem to like me around Tyche and then again I am not exactly pleased with him being around either. Family… I wonder if Hermes had other reasons for this little “reunion” other than a yearly event. You have grown up well from the little girl Tyche use to follow though the meadows. If I remember rightly, she was often your excited little shadow,” Nemesis smirked her red eyes smiled from seeing her again.
The times Nemesis felt most comfortable when Tyche was about Persephone, Demeter watched over the pair like shepherd over a flock. Nemesis keep her arms folded but the tension loosened from them and her focus certainly on the only other one she view almost like family. Sign, Athene should be proud and Nemesis felt a pang of envy at having a normal unforced on student. Things had changed, times choose her to grown up differently than Tyche, and made her stronger then she was before. The goddess of justice let her sword hang loosely from her right hand but held it firmly in a few fingers.
“If I remember right, last time we saw each other was before Tyche walked away, and I had wings than,” Nemesis voice heightened at the word, her white wings she no longer had in mortal form.
Persephone laughed at Nemesis, the goddess was the same as ever it seemed. Always so worried about Tyche. "Ah well yes, and I was a lot more innocent then. And a lot happier too." She swallowed at that, biting back the bitter look that was bound to come up in a moment. Because when she'd last seen Nemesis she'd still had the man she loved in her life and that was just a painful reminder of what she couldn't have back now.
But oh what she wouldn't give to go back in time some when she was still innocent and timid and happy. But she couldn't have those times back and she was never going to be happy again like she used to be. Gods have long memories and they do not easily forget their pains. She knew that too well from her husband and now she'd feel it herself.
"You look good though."
Nemesis chuckled, an unusual thing for the serious goddess,” Considering my skin went from white to a coffee mocha color and I have tattoos on my skin instead of wings, yes, I think you are correct.”
Nemesis soften at the woman’s change in mood, emotions were easy to read but harder to affect. Hades death was affecting her even now; the goddess could only wish health for Demeter’s daughter. It was something Nemesis couldn’t relate to, heal it or beat it into submission. It was like an unbeatable foe, not much like the one they currently would face as they sharpen their claws for the Olympians. Sigh, there was one more to heal other than Tyche and as far as Nemesis was considered: Demeter was gone, replaced by a bitter crone craving for death.
Tyche always did best with touch so would it be bad to try the same with Persephone? There was only one way to discover the truth and that was a risk she was willing to try. Without thinking too deeply Nemesis placed her hand upon the younger goddess’s shoulder, no words about it but just a reassurance she was there. It was gesture Nemesis knew she would recognize from her and Tyche’s own interactions.
“I rather you not slap me, my cheek still burns slightly from Tyche’s earlier,” Nemesis knew this would come as a surprise; Tyche rare ever displayed physical violence in the past.
"I normally would have said I wouldn't dream of it," she said with a bitter and sad smile. "But I'm not so gentle anymore. Though I doubt I'll have occasion to strike out at you." The look she gave the fellow goddess was very serious in that she would strike out if need be. But unless she brought up the memories of her husband without tack, it was unlikely to happen.
"Tumble of emotions, still that girl?" she asked about Tyche's outburst. Violence wasn't like her, but being as unstable as Persephone was sometimes was.
“This is our first meeting just out of pure chance,” Nemesis remembered her meeting with Demeter, silently thanking her friend while she continued,” and I fear she has been bottling it since. She takes her family’s protection very serious, especially those she is most connected to. There is something I believe I should tell before we march into war: if Tyche gets hurt than it seems I too feel a minor echo of it. So far I only found it distracting at best and painful at worse. Athene knows this and I personally would like to keep my weakness between very few immortals. Can I trust you? “
It was an uncomfortable topic but it was a must know for the battle ahead. If Tyche choose to fight without guilt than Nemesis wouldn’t stop her student but if- with Athene’s and Persephone’s help- keep her from the main fight so Nemesis could combat unhindered.
“I wish mental troubles were like battle wounds, I see what I needed to repair and heal you both. Athene told me everything… as far as I know Tyche doesn’t know yet. You both lost something…” the goddess squeeze a bit tighter and just rested her hand on her shoulder, her sword point placed into a standing position. The only difference was Persephone was with Hades while Tyche gave up her chance unwittingly. Nemesis couldn’t imagine how either of them were feeling.
The Spring goddess nodded her head, she could be trusted. No one ever talked to her anyways so there would be no one for her to tell. "If Tyche doesn't know, don't tell her yet. I know very well how awful that pain is and I will not inflict it on her even if she won't feel half the lose I felt." There were new tears in her eyes, spilling unnoticed down her cheek. She didn't even seem to be aware at all that she was crying, it was something so normal to her everyday life that it had rather become like breathing for her.
“Hades wouldn’t bear to see his wife saddle his death like a weight besides as Tyche once told me: Ever notice luck seems to reflect a person’s mood, the better it is than the luckier I make you? Or something like that once, it seems that child can still manage to confuse me in many ways when she's not around. It seems Athene, Hephaestus by her side, is doing our job for us and would you mind walking with me. I see Hermes has Tyche in hand and the rage has subsided,” the pain was clear no matter how minor it seemed. Nemesis had no reason to hide what she felt so it wasn't worth the energy. With that she lifted her sword up in her left hand and her other hand showed the way so she would follow behind.
"After you, beauty first and then the sword," spoke Nemesis, placed her own twist upon the saying while remaining very much herself. It would seem Tyche wasn't the only one she could relax around after all.
Persephone just sighed and shook her head some, taking what little steps she felt like over to her sister and brother. Finally, they were making plans and getting things together for the fight. She didn't even wipe at the tears still slowly streaming down her face. It was like breathing.