[[ Disappearing for the weekend to partake in a multitude of fun and exciting things. Including playing D&D in a pub. And we will have our own personal barmaid—in costume. (I love my friends. I love my life.) ]]
Oh, she wanted to run. Wanted to sprint out that door, jump into her car, and leave the rotting house in the dust. Resisting the urge to pull away from Hermes’ nearness, she considered it, but she hesitated, frozen in place. It was too late, now. Hermes was about to do her dirty work for her—the least she could do was watch.
"Nah," she said with forced nonchalance, the small curl to her lips taking on an almost pained quality rather than the cheeky one she was trying for, "Dragged you all the way here, didn’t I? Figure I could stick around for a while longer." Her fingers curled into fists by her sides before releasing. She stepped back.
Hermes sees Im’s trepidation as a very healthy thing, and the same for her contrived amusement. He’s intimately familiar with that sort of coping mechanism. “Okay,” he nods, and is reassured that she can handle this.
Hermes does not like to think of himself as a high-maintenance sort of fellow. Between work on the ground and in the air, small amusements, coincidences, meetings and the like, time does have a way of speeding past him.
But he does make it a habit to respond to emails and messages, even if that is to tell the person that he’s sorry and he’s been busy lately. His work is global, and most people understand.
When Hermes does have the luxury of picking and choosing which company he keeps, being turned down is irksome. Being unable to contact people, moreso.
Im has gone dark for the past eight days. She is with at least one of her brothers. Hermes knows this because he’d looked them up and tracked the GPS on their phones. It’s perfectly acceptable behavior, he’d tell you—being a god of information makes it his job to know things.
Being busy is fine. He understands busy. But silence in the face of numerous attempts is just plain discourteous.
Penny steps forward, centre-stage, as if descending from a cloud. She’d disappeared into the bathroom for a good hour to get ready. Gone was the thick Italian Vogue eyeliner, replaced with something softer, a touch of white gold sweeping from her eyes like snow. Her skirt is full and ends above her knees, paired with a gentle wool sweater to keep the early evening chill away. The knit is large enough to suggest the outline of a smooth black bra underneath. Her sandals are golden.
"Pan," she purrs with carmine lips. She eyes him. The fact that he put an effort into his appearance is not lost on her, and she’s both flattered and appeased. After all, she is a lady.
The rum is a lovely offering, too. She steps inches away from him and takes the bottle from his hands. “And what will you be drinking?”
Pan is wholly unsubtle about checking Penny out. An honest-to-god whistle lights up the apartment. People who care about cultivating alluring appearances impress him, especially when his own preparations for going out often stop at throwing on a pair of pants and the closest unstained shirt. He’s accustomed to nudity is all, and his animal magnetism tends to more than compensate for a fancy wardrobe.
Pan does not mention that the makeup will be ruined inside of two hours, and Hermes is thinking the same thing.
"Babe, oh, I like your style. The other drinks are at the hotel already.” The young god steps round beside her and places a guiding hand on the small of her back. Over his shoulder, he stage-whispers to Hermes, “See? Gentleman.”
”Go,” Hermes insists and waves them off. He’s smiling as he watches them go, glad at least that his guest is being looked after by somebody well-suited to her, and amused until he isn’t.
Im stared at Apollo for a moment, shocked, before turning to Hermes. “You told him?” She smacked his knee, hoping it stung at least a little bit. “Did you want to tell him anything else while you’re at it? Maybe my social security number? The color of my underwear?” Mildly irritated, she rolled her shoulder, trying to push him off. “Why did I think you’d be good at keeping secrets?”
The way Apollo smiled made something itch under skin, and she glanced away from the screen, leaning back slightly. He was regal in a way that Hermes was not, and the reminder that she was sitting in the presence of two deities was not exactly something that made her sit easy.
"So, this dream," she said quietly, leaning almost imperceptibly towards Hermes as she spoke to his brother, "What was it about, if you don’t mind me asking? Hermes has mentioned your dreams are…rather accurate."
Hermes goes with the shove, and throws up an arm to defend himself from further physical harassment. “I didn’t tell him a damned thing! I swear I didn’t—he’s just perceptive that way.”
From the screen, Apollo nods in confirmation. “Your name, he told me—that’s all. The rest is guesswork, dear.” Gentle-voiced Apollo confides to Im, “My little brother is fantastic at keeping secrets. Unbelievably so. Even right now I can notice things on him that you’re missing, but I’ll let him have his small mysteries.”
Hermes narrows his eyes, wary and unsure why, and Apollo keeps his mild smile. “You and your mind reading.”
"My science, little dove, and my good ear. Are you getting sick, Hermes? You sound a bit hoarse.”
The remark takes a moment to process. When Hermes sorts it through, it is very clear that he doesn’t much like being doctored. “Doctor Akesios, sweetheart, you’re not at work. I feel fine.”
"Oh, I’m aware." Apollo raises his paper cup in mock toast. "You look splendid, joy-bringing Hermes Kharidotes." He adds to Im, "Word of advice: he likes compliments. And his epithets, but those can sound odd on an English tongue."
Hermes’ heavy woolen chlamys is moonlighting as a shock blanket. The god himself shields the woman he has wounded from the elements, and threats, and fear. The blood on his hands is mostly hers, from the hasty bandaging job he has done.
They are waiting for the ambulance upon Hermes’ insistence. Bullet wounds, he could manage. A fractured tibia, no.
“Again, I’m really fucking sorry,” he morosely mumurs into Im’s shoulder. “I’m just a lousy shot. Apparently I need more practice.”
Im squeezes his hand with a grip that leaves much to be desired. “Hey, at least you hit him.”
“Sure, on the fifth try.” Hermes presses a kiss to her matted hair and does not doubt that they will get through this just fine. “No worries, I’ll deal with the police and everything. Tell them you got attacked by a bear.”
“Where’s the body?”
“Hidden, of course.”
“And the silver bullet?”
Hermes chortles. “Oh, I can play naive supernaturalist. And my gun’s registered.”
“Figures.” She can see the redblue alarm lights, painful against the stark nighttime air. There is no sound because there is nobody to warn off the road. “Once I can keep it down, you’re bringing me food.”
“All the sandwiches and Oreos you can eat, dear.”
things I want to see:
- tattooed young Hera who redefines what it means to be feminine (ex: x )
- Apollo enjoying counterculture modern music that isn’t what your grandaddy listens to because the god of music loves all music
- Hermes dropping the internet connection of late-night bloggers when he thinks they need to get more sleep
- Aphrodite at the forefront of modern fashion, not just for mainstream fashion but all types of beauty
- Apollo keeping tabs on the mental health of all his followers because mental illness is illness too
- Hera rejecting political campaigns and bringing together queer couples because the goddess of marriage knows better than some old congressman what marriage is
- Zeus traveling the world enjoying the various diversity of his world under culturally-appropriate disguises in each country, stopping to perform quiet blessings to people who deserve it and yet who never know who that strange older man was who helped them or gave them exactly the sort of wise guidance they needed
- Ares annoying Apollo by constantly demanding updates on the wellbeing of his injured veterans and wanting to know what Apollo plans to do about their combat-related injuries and mental illnesses
- Ares whispering in the ears of anti-war protesters to keep world governments from using nuclear weapons
- Ares deflecting bullets in a firefight to protect police officers chasing a gunman and casually pushing criminals’ vehicles off the road in car chases before they can hurt any innocents
- Athena on the ground in the Middle East, following around military scouts and diverting attacks before they even notice them
- Hermes disguised as a male nurse, quietly walking between beds in terminal care facilities, easing pain in everyone he passes by
- Haides patiently explaining the whole “yes, I’m that Haides” “yes, this is that underworld” “no, no one’s going to torture you with fire” thing to every single person who enters his realm and never getting frustrated no matter how many times the Christians ask him about hell
- Poseidon getting a drink in the local bars in small coastal towns because he likes to listen to the tall tales the fishermen tell as they come in from their crab boats
- Hephaestus gleefully inventing new creations because smithing is so much more interesting with modern technology
- Demeter convincing Zeus to sabotage the political lobbying of big agricultural corporations to protect her beloved small-time farmers
- Hestia strolling through the suburbs calming down family arguments in the neighborhoods she visits
- Artemis taking her responsibility for the wellbeing of young ladies seriously and invisibly sitting next to every heartbroken teenage girl crying her eyes out over some lost highschool love
- Dionysus impersonating bartenders and demanding patrons’ car keys when they’ve had too much
- Gods that aren’t stuck in the ancient past