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Topics - Ayden

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1
Disposable Heroes / Norse To Meet You
« on: December 04, 2018, 12:52:58 PM »
"So ... why am I here again?" Ayden asked, looking over at her brother as she leaned against the kitchen counter. She had been asked to wear normal clothes for the season and location for once, bemused as to why this was necessary. Jo had left Dean to it, taking the children over to Sam and Becky's, just in case things kicked off when the new hunter introduced herself.

"Why do you think you're here?" Dean countered, assuming she had to have some inkling as to why they'd asked her to join them. He felt bad about summoning her here, away from her husband and young son, but it couldn't be helped. He didn't know this hunter from Adam, despite Bobby and Ellen's assurances, and he needed to make sure she was telling the truth.

"Well, I assume you want me to meet someone, and you don't want them to know I'm not human anymore," his sister commented thoughtfully, considering him for a moment. "I don't make a habit of prying into the future if I can help it, Dean. Knowing too much about what might happen gives me the mother of all migraines."

"It's not that," Dean assured her. He hadn't asked her to look into the future in months - not since the last time he'd wanted to know how many children he and Jo were going to have. He was half-tempted to tell her that if he told her what was going on, she wouldn't believe him, but this was a woman who had wed the Greek God of War. There probably wasn't much that surprised her anymore. "We're expecting someone and I need to know this someone is telling the truth."

"Right." Ayden grinned at him, reaching over to poke his shoulder playfully. "See, I told you it'd be handy having an Olympian for a baby sister. Even if I still punch like mortal child, according to my darling husband."

Dean flashed a brief and slightly sarcastic smile. "Your darling husband would probably say the same thing about Mike Tyson," he pointed out, though Mike Tyson wasn't actively boxing anymore.

"You know, one of these days, you two are going to admit that you actually like each other," Ayden predicted for her brother and husband, though she knew it was more pride keeping them from it than anything. She smiled faintly. "All right, so tell me more about this someone you want me to meet."

"I never said I didn't like him," Dean pointed out, proven by the fact that he'd given his blessings to his sister's marriage. Ares could be a bit of a jerk, in Dean's opinion, but he couldn't deny that the guy loved his sister. He shrugged briefly as he pushed off the counter to fetch himself a cup of coffee. "Not much to tell," he said, a questioning look toward the pot, in case she wanted a cup. "Brian called yesterday to let us know that there's trouble headed our way in the form of a hunter named Kristen. Apparently, she's tracking Loki. Before you ask, yes, that Loki. I assume he's the trouble headed our way, since it's him she's tracking. Not sure why though. That's what we're trying to find out."

"So you're going to try and find out why she's tracking him, and whether it's the real Loki or Gabriel she's after, right?" Ayden guessed. At least she hadn't forgotten how to have a normal conversation; it was easy to assume she knew everything before it was said these days, but Ayden refused to act on anything unless she was told aloud what she already knew.

"You already know about that?" Dean asked, brows arching upwards. He wasn't sure why he was surprised about that when his sister was no longer mortal. "I assume she's after the real Loki," he continued. "But we're not sure why. Gabriel seems to think Loki is after him, but that doesn't explain why this hunter is after Loki." Dean paused to rub away the dull ache that was forming behind his temple. "Does that make any sense?"

"Gabriel pretty much watched over me for a few years there," she reminded him with a smile. "I know he's an ass, but he was my friend. He didn't keep many secrets from me." She straightened up, tilting her head as the sound of an approaching engine signaled the arrival of the expected hunter. "It makes sense," she assured her brother. "Just don't start a fight."

Dean had to bite his tongue. He knew very well that Gabriel had watched over Ayden because it was Dean that had asked him to do it, but as far as Dean was concerned, whatever debt he might have owed the archangel had been repaid tenfold when Gabriel inherited Heaven. "It's been a long time since I punched a woman," he assured her with a straight face.

Ayden snorted with laughter. "So it's a woman, huh?" She grinned, nudging his arm as the engine outside died, followed by the sound of a car door opening and closing. "Does Jo know you're entertaining another woman in her house?"

"I said her name is Kristen. Pay attention, Sis!" Dean teased, snapping his fingers. He moved the curtains aside to take a peek outside the window at the newcomer. "Of course Jo knows. She was the first one I told."

"Oh, so, not her idea, then?" Ayden teased him, ducking under his arm to look out through the window as well.

What they saw was a tall woman in a leather jacket, brunette hair pulled into a harsh ponytail, tucking a gun into the back of her jeans as she turned toward the house. Her eyes found them looking out at her, brows rising above an amused smile. Ayden waved, grinning back.

Dean rolled his eyes at the sight of the woman tucking a gun into the back of her jeans, as if they wouldn't notice. "Oh, great. A badass. Awesome." Thankfully, Jo had taken the kids next door to see Sam and Becky. He didn't want them there if there was going to be trouble.

"Oh, come on, Dean." Ayden straighted up, rolling her eyes. "It's not like she made any attempt to hide it. And if you were in her position, you'd do the exact same thing."

"Would I?" Dean challenged. It wasn't so much the gun that bothered him, but the fact that she was bringing a gun into his home - a home that was occupied by three small children.

His little sister looked him dead in the eye and dared him to try and lie to her. Not that anyone was physically capable of doing that to Ayden these days, not since Ares had declared her the Goddess of Truth. She smirked at him. "Answer the door, Dean."

And a moment later, there was a knock on the front door.

Dean sighed. "Getting pretty bossy lately, little sister," he grumbled, as he set his coffee cup down and pushed off the counter. He meant no harm by the remark, except to tease her. He was clearly feeling a little agitated, and teasing her was one way for him to release that tension. "Come on, then. You're part of this, too," he told her, waving her toward him as he headed toward the door.

"You're the one who gave me self-confidence, Big Bird," she pointed out, falling into step behind him as he moved for the door. "It's your own fault I got sassy."

"Yeah, yeah. I'm sure Ares had nothing to do with it," he murmured, but there was a hint of a smile on his face now, clearly enjoying teasing her. Before she could reply further, he pulled open the door to greet their guest. "What's the password?" he asked, though they didn't really have one.

2
Disposable Heroes / Peace
« on: October 01, 2016, 07:16:10 PM »
[size=9]August 30th, 2013[/size]

War is hell. But you know what's worse than war? Being the God of War when your mortal wife goes into labor. Ares' sweet, gentle Ayden had turned into something of a harpy when she realized that her back pains were, in fact, labor pains, demanding everything from ice chips, to her deceased mother, to someone volunteering to possess her for the next ten hours or so. Thus far, they had managed relatively well, but as Ayden started to feel the need to push, any semblance of calm had quickly started to unravel. She'd certainly spent enough time around hunters, if the swearing was anything to go by.

This might be the first time Ayden had given birth, but Ares had fathered half a dozen or more children over the years. Even so, it had been a very long time since then, and he had never had the pleasure - or pain - of witnessing childbirth, nor did he really want to do so now. He wasn't sure what had happened to the world that it was commonplace for fathers to witness childbirth. He thought it was barbaric and really wanted nothing to do with it. This was women's business, just like that week of hell mortal women went through once a month when they turned into a harpy. Instead, he was pacing the floor outside the bedroom that was serving as a makeshift birthing room and wincing each time Ayden screamed and cussed. She was certainly far better at it than he had ever imagined her to be, using words that were less than ladylike and that he'd never heard come out of her mouth before today.

Hebe was in there with her. Ares' sister had answered the call straight away, only too happy to be his new son's midwife and safe in the knowledge that Ayden liked her in the first place. Of course, then Hera had shown up, and as Ares' mother, she couldn't really be denied the opportunity to be a part of the birth of her grandson. Judging by the voices in there, someone else had shown up too.

Eventually, Ayden managed to offer up a loud summons not even her husband could ignore. "Ares, if you don't get your ass in here right now, I will never speak to you again!"

Personally, Ares thought Ayden had quite enough help. Besides, with all the women in the room, it was bound to be a little too crowded for him, wasn't it? He scowled when he heard her summons, stopping dead in his tracks. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. Well, at least, now he understood the meaning of that human phrase. It had to be an empty threat. Aphrodite had once threatened to make him a eunuch if he didn't take turns helping with the children, and he still had his manhood intact. But then, Ayden wasn't Aphrodite. He sighed. Maybe if he just poked his nose in, it would appease her.

He gathered his courage and cleared his throat before pushing the door open to peek his head in. "Yes, dear?"

"Don't give me that."

And, to be fair, Ayden had good cause to be a little rattled. Not only was she crowning - which was clear to see from the doorway - but she was surrounded by Olympians. On one side of Ayden was Artemis, holding the clenched fist as she tried to speak calmly to the laboring mother; on the other side was Hera, wincing at the grip her son's wife had on her hand. At Ayden's feet was Hebe, and kneeling beside her, Hestia. Standing watch over the laboring mother was Demeter, and beside her, Mnemosyne, and across from them, holding a towel ready warmed for the child being born, was Aphrodite.

The look Ayden gave Ares was pointed, to say the least. "Will you talk to your family, darling?"

Ares looked from Ayden to the others gathered around her - all females, as it should be. He wasn't quite sure what Ayden wanted from him. His family had come to help her birth the child, as was their right and their custom. "What would you have me tell them?" he asked, turning back to Ayden and trying to keep his eyes on her face so that his gaze didn't wander to what was actually taking place there.

Even as he asked, another contraction gripped his wife, and she threw back her head, her face turning red with the exertion as she pushed as hard as she could, trying not to yell out in pain. Demeter rushed forward to bathe her face with cool water as Hebe took hold of the little head that came forth.

"Too ... many ... people!" Ayden managed to gasp out, shaking her head to try and avoid the fussing going on around her.

Technically, they weren't really people - they were immortals, but Ares didn't think this was the right time to point that out. His mouth dropped open, unable to avoid the sight of his son's head as Ayden struggled to bring him into the world. "Is that ..." He trailed off, already knowing the answer to that question. He turned a pleading gaze to Hera, hoping she would know what to do about Ayden's request. He wasn't sure if he should leave or stay, but some part of him was compelled to stay and witness this miracle that was taking place before him.

As a female who presided over the institution of family, however, Hera was not going to help him. She was far too interested in the sight of her grandchild - the first Olympian child born in millenia - to care much about the comfort of the mother. Of everyone there in that crowded room, however, there were some who took the hint.

Demeter backed off quickly, pulling Hestia to her feet. "All those who have never delivered a child before should leave," she suggested, looking pointedly around at the group of Olympians.

Mnemosyne pouted, but gave in, disappearing quickly enough. Hestia, too, though she obviously didn't want to go.

Aphrodite, however, rebelled. "Why should I go?" she demanded. "This is a child born of love, I have a right to be here!"

"I don't want you here," Ayden ground out from between clenched teeth.

Ares at last stepped into the room. If he couldn't support his wife in this, then he didn't deserve to have her. "You can bless our son later, 'Dite," he told her, turning that same pleading look on his former lover, now friend. He seemed to understand suddenly how Ayden must feel, surrounded by those who were practically strangers - one of whom was one of his former lovers, though their love affair had ended a very long time ago. He was glad at least Hebe was there; there was no one he trusted with Ayden's well-being more than her. "Please," he added, hoping Aphrodite would not hold it against them.

3
Disposable Heroes / The Deep Breath
« on: September 24, 2016, 05:41:39 PM »
[size=9]June 19th, 2013[/size][/b]

Greece was beautiful in the summer, and Porto Helio, the area where Ares made his home, was one of the most beautiful parts of Greece. Unfortunately, that beauty was lost on Becky when she arrived there, borne away from Sioux Falls out of concern for her life. Still plagued by the blood madness that seemed to fill her mind, it had taken a long time to get her into just one room of the villa, and even then, they'd had to burst in and remove everything in there that might possibly be used to hurt herself with. That rage had been turned inward; they could hear her raving about wanting to die, about how she deserved to die for killing Jo, that nothing would be right until justice was served with her death.

In the adjoining room, Ayden sighed softly, rubbing a hand over the prominence of her pregnant stomach. "Don't you have any idea what's wrong with her?" she asked her husband worriedly.

Ares looked about as perplexed as Ayden, though he was hopeful Sam would be able to keep Becky from harming herself or anyone else. "I have a few ideas, as you put it, but I am not entirely certain what is causing her madness," he replied, with a worried frown. He had a few ideas about how they might be able to find out, but he wasn't sure Becky would agree.

"How do we find out what's going on?" Ayden asked, glancing toward the room. "At some point, Sam's going to need a rest, and I can't control her, not without risking the baby. I could sedate her, I suppose, but if this is something controlling her, sedation wouldn't work, would it?"

"No, and I don't think it's her fault. I don't think it's simply madness. There is something else going on here. I believe it has something to do with the death of Becky's father," he said, though he was still trying to put all the pieces together. "Did you notice anything strange about Becky after she ... after Jo was killed?" he asked, though they'd been over this half a dozen times or more already.

She frowned, trying to think of something they hadn't already gone over. Ayden trusted Ares knew what he was talking about, that he had a reason for asking her so many times about the same thing over and again. She thought she might be disappointing him, though. "The only thing I can think of is something Ellen said," she shrugged. "She said Sam was worried weeks ago that something was up. Apparently Becky was talking in her sleep, something about Jo being evil and everything being her fault and the world being right again if Jo died. But after Jo ... after it happened, Becky stabbed herself. Why would she do that? She killed her boyfriend's mother, sure, but there's no reason why she would kill herself. Is there?"

Ares thought about that a moment, and something clicked in his mind, but he still wasn't sure. If he was right, though, then this was even bigger than he thought. "It's about justice. For whatever reason, Becky believes Jo was responsible for her father's death; hence, Becky was avenging her father's death, but if justice be served, then Becky herself must be punished for the very act of vengeance. It is an old way of thinking. An eye for an eye, so to speak," he explained, though admittedly, it wasn't much of an explanation.

Ayden stared at him, not entirely sure she could follow this herself. "But Becky's a bright kid," she pointed out. "She'd never believe that Jo could possibly be responsible for her father's death; she knows too much to be able to believe that. Not without someone influencing her."

"Exactly. The question is who ... or what," Ares replied. "I have an idea, but I'm not sure Becky will agree to it," he said, though he had yet to share that idea with Ayden. It seemed to him the only people who were in danger right now were Jo and Becky, but if he put his plan into action, there was no telling what might happen.

"Becky's not sane enough right now to recognize her own boyfriend," his mortal wife pointed out to him. "At this point, I don't think it matters what she would agree to. I think it's Sam who needs to make those decisions. But I think you should tell me, first."

Once again, Ares paused a moment to consider her words. He didn't want to do anything that would put Becky or anyone else at risk, but if they did not do something, she would either go mad or find a way to end her life. As the old saying went, it seemed they had nothing to lose. "Clotho," he said simply, hoping she'd understand what he was suggesting. Clotho was the last of the Fates who was still living, thanks to him and to the surge of compassion that had stopped him from killing her.

"What about her?" Ayden asked warily. She'd never met Clotho herself, but given that the woman had been made mortal pretty much the same day that Ayden had become pregnant, the last of the Fates was still very present in her mind. Without Clotho's warning, they would have lost their son, and any chance of having another child after him. "You think she knows what's going on?"

"No, but I think she is out best hope of finding out," he said. Even though Clotho was now mortal, she had once been one of the Fates, and he thought she just might be able to confirm what he already suspected. "She owes me her life, Ayden. She will do nothing to harm us," he assured her, touching his fingers to her cheek.

Tilting her cheek into his touch, she sighed softly, stroking a hand against his chest. "She's already saved our son's life," she reminded him quietly. "I've got no reason not to trust her. If you think she can solve this, then you should go and get her. Sam and I can handle this for a little while on our own."

"I don't think she will harm you or Sam. It's her own life that's in danger right now. Give her something to make her sleep, if you must, but do not leave her alone for an instant. I will not be long," he promised her, sliding his arms around her waist, their child safe inside her belly between them, as he pressed a soft kiss to her lips. "Do nothing that will put yourself or our child in danger, until I return."

Perhaps it was a bad time, but his phrasing meant that she could tease him with a very literal response to his gentle warning, and she never let an opportunity like that pass her by. "Oh, so I have to wait until you get back to jump off a cliff onto a big spike, do I?" she asked innocently, letting him see her smile as she leaned into him. It was taking time, but Ares was slowly beginning to understand his mortal wife.

"Yes, you have to wait until I get back," he teased in return, an amused smile on his face that she'd taken him so literally. Of all the women he'd ever met, she was the only one who'd known how to make him laugh, even now.

4
Disposable Heroes / A Mortal Union (AU)
« on: August 05, 2015, 06:04:47 PM »
Winter had come to the Peloponnese. Snow covered the land, sparkling bright beneath the weak winter sun. Yet the heat of summer had returned to one estate in a remote area of that rugged, beautiful peninsular for a single day; the gift of an Olympian who, though he had his differences with his brother, was oddly attached to the bloodline from which that brother was taking a wife.

It had been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. With Ares' promise in place to let her at least pretend that they were normal and everything was just a little bit rushed, for the sake of his staff and the village not so very far away, Ayden had thrown herself into preparing for her own wedding. Food, decorations, clothing ... they were all under her remit, and to her surprise, she found that Ares' own staff were more than happy to throw in their lot and help her. Despite the fact that she didn't speak a word of Greek, they had taken to her, delighted that their villa would have a mistress for the first time, and between her determination and their broken English, the preparations had all been made to her satisfaction.

Out of deference to male relatives who genuinely despised wearing full suits, as well as a fiance who had certain opinions about the very idea of a tuxedo, she'd allowed for shirtsleeves, so long as the shirt was clean and ironed. Her female guests, however ... that was a different story. Ayden was determined to wear a wedding dress, but at the same time, she didn't want to be the only person there in a ridiculously long formal gown. So Ellen, Jo, and Sam's new girl, Becky, had all been strong-armed into being fitted for formal gowns themselves, and had indulged her with surprising grace. That had been an education in itself - between Ellen's startling understanding of fabrics and complimentary colors, and Becky's hitherto unknown gift with Greek, both ancient and modern, Ayden didn't think she'd forget the day they'd spent at the villa with Ares' dressmaker fussing over them.

Finally, the day arrived. Ares' impatience for it had become more and more marked over the days that brought them closer, until Ayden had actually had to put her foot down and banish him from the area of the garden where the ceremony and resulting party were going to take place. That might not have gone so well for her had Hebe not chosen that moment to show up with her eternal children, but it was the first time that Ares actually did what Ayden told him to, so she was going to hold onto it as a victory.

But, at last, the day was here, and to everyone's surprise, the sun rose over the villa, melting away the snows, drying the earth, warming the chilled air. A gift from Apollo, to celebrate his brother's marriage, even if he wasn't expected to attend personally. Ares and Apollo may have had their differences, but it was time to start setting those differences aside. The war demanded it. Though no Olympians had actually officially RSVP'd the invitation that had been extended to them, there was reason to expect at least some of them to come to Ares' nuptials, and they did not disappoint, arriving on foot or by car, none of them drawing attention to themselves as Ares allowed them to cross his boundary line for one day and one day only.

Hebe was there, naturally, her effervescent good humor bubbling over as her eternal boys played around her feet; Eros and Psyche made themselves known, dressed appropriately, their own small Cupid having had his wings clipped for the day so he didn't startle the natives by flying through the air at random; Dionysus showed up, purely because it was a party, and he was one god who could never resist a party. It was no surprise that Aphrodite chose not to attend, and though Ayden thought that absence might have hurt Ares, he showed no outward sign of it.

An odd ceremony, then ... the groom's family attending what was a new and intriguing oddity; the bride's family alternately proud of their girl and itching for weapons in the presence of so many supernatural beings. Odd, yes, but strangely fitting. The bride was radiant in a gown she'd actually designed herself, a sweet mix of the ancient and modern; the groom a little nonplussed in his formal shirt and pants. The ring was set with a fiery ruby, Ares' stone, the color of passion and blood, the color of life and death, fitted perfectly to the slender finger it was laid upon. There was a wobbly moment when Dean had to actually give his sister away, but they survived that with the minimum of reluctance, just about.

It was merely a formality, after all. In a few short months, Ayden would be presented on Mount Olympus, and her acceptance into the ranks of the Olympians would mark their formal acceptance of this union with Ares himself. This wedding was to please her, more than anything, and to try and curb Ares' own impatience to have her entirely to himself. And, of course, it was a sop for the staff, who were delighted each in their own way to be a part of their master's wedding day and the official welcoming of the new mistress to the villa.

But formality or not, it was binding, and as Ayden looked up at her new husband, acutely aware of the new life within her womb that had yet to make itself known, she knew she'd changed her own destiny. From this moment on, she was the wife of the God of War, soon to become an Olympian herself. And if she had her way, no one would ever harm her family again.

5
Disposable Heroes / Greek Sunrise
« on: March 17, 2015, 06:57:18 AM »
[size=9]((Contains reference to adult activities.))[/size]

Ares' battle with Clotho had been a little anticlimactic, at least, as far as Ares was concerned. He was the God of War, after all, and it hadn't been much of a battle at all, but perhaps for the first time in his immortal existence, he had shown a foe mercy and compassion. What good was it to be a leader in battle if all he knew was death and destruction? It had taken him a long time to learn that lesson, but once learned, it would never be forgotten.

It wasn't hard to find Ayden once he and Clotho were through, and he needed no help from the Archangel Gabriel to do it. Ares had put his mark on her in more ways than one. She was carrying his child, and such was a bond that could not be broken, not by anyone - mortal or immortal. He found her resting, sleeping peacefully in the house the hunters called their home. He made no announcement that he'd arrived back, just simply appeared beside her bed, still dressed in the t-shirt and jeans he had been wearing when he'd left Clotho, though he was no longer bearing the Dagger.
   
Ayden had worried over him for most of the day, finally dragging Sam out to the local donut shop to pass some time before enduring the family dinner. She loved them, truly she did, but Dean was definitely on a roll with the god-baby jokes, not to mention the terrible puns about sleeping with the God of War. She'd taken the first opportunity to disappear into the room that was hers here at the Singer house, finally putting her worry aside to settle down to sleep. But even unconscious, she'd left room for Ares beside her in the bed, one hand outstretched over the space where he should have been, the other resting over the flatness of her abdomen where the seed of their first child had already taken root.

Their first child, to be sure, because if Ares had his way, she'd have at least half a dozen before they were through. He only stood there, watching her quietly for a long moment, admiring her beauty in peaceful repose, almost as if he was debating whether to wake her or let her sleep. Here in this house, he did not feel welcome. This was not his home, nor was it hers really - not anymore. She belonged to him and with him, and though he knew her family loved and cared for her, they would just have to understand that her place was with him now, and his place was not here. He reached out to touch his fingers to hers, light flooding the room only momentarily, and then, in the blink of an eye, she was no longer lying in that sorry excuse for a bed, but resting peacefully amidst the luxury that occupied his villa in Greece. It was later there - or earlier - the sky turning gray with morning as the sun was just starting to make its slow rise over the sea.

The shift from Sioux Falls to the Peloponnese barely seemed to make much impact on the young woman in the bed, her fingers merely curling to try and take hold of his as she stirred gently against the cool sheets that enveloped her in the pre-dawn light that drenched the Greek villa. It was just as well she knew the villa by now, or the brief glimpse of the room as her eyes flickered open would have shocked her into full waking far too quickly. As it was, she yawned, her hand rising to rub her eyes as she stretched slowly, soft eyes blinking open in the dim light. "Ares?"
   
"I am here, my love," he whispered softly, seating himself on the bed beside her. He was still clad in a simple t-shirt and jeans, but his feet were bare, a soft smile on his face in the dim light. He touched her face, fingers in tender caress of her cheek and combing through her dark hair. "I'm sorry I woke you."

She shifted easily to accommodate him, her own hand rising to touch his cheek as she smiled sleepily. "I was worried about you," she told him, though he'd known that before he and Gabriel had disappeared hours before. "Is ... is it done?" She didn't dare ask quite what had happened. Just the fact that he was hale and well was good enough news for her.

"It is done," he confirmed, though he gave her no further details just yet. All of that would be told in time, but right now, he only wanted to remind himself what he was fighting for and what - or more accurately who - he had to live for. "I am sorry I worried you," he apologized, not having to be told to know she had worried over him. She had made that much clear before he'd left.

"I'm glad you're safe." Pushing herself to sit up, she curled her arms around him. As she relaxed against Ares, her tension bled from her body - all the worry and fear she'd been holding all day easing away until she was herself again, holding him close in the grey light of the morning before dawn took hold. "I love you."

He wrapped her in his embrace, strong arms curling around her to hold her close. He could have assumed any form he desired, but seemed to prefer that of a young man with golden hair and jade green eyes. It was the face of a god, immortal in his youth but with eyes as old as time. "As I love you, agapitos," he told her softly, fingers gently stroking the silk of her hair.

She snorted softly, unable to hear that endearment without recalling her own appalling attempts at saying it the first time he had used that one on her. It was difficult not to smile as she tilted her head back to meet his eyes, drawing her fingers tenderly against his cheek. "I've missed you," she admitted quietly. "I didn't think I would be able to sleep at all without you."

"I wish I could promise that I will never leave you again," he told her, touching his lips to her hair, her temple, her cheek, and finally tilting her chin so that his lips met hers, soft and warm and lingering. "I have missed you, as well. I hope you do not mind that I brought you here, but here is where you belong." He hadn't thought about how her brother might worry when they found her gone, and if he'd known that Dean had been teasing her, the hunter might have felt his fury.

"I know," she promised him softly, sighing into the kisses he gave her with the strange contentment that always seemed to pour through her body whenever he was nearby. "I wouldn't ask you to not do what needs to be done. It was just so fresh from the first hunt when so much could have gone wrong, and you insisted on doing it alone ..." She shook her head, curling against him tenderly. "I should call Ellen when it hits morning over there, so no one worries."

"Call her," he echoed, a little confused before realizing what she meant by that. "Ah, yes. The telephone. A clever invention. Mortals are full of clever inventions, it seems. I wonder if they realize who inspired them." He wasn't really going to take credit for the invention of the telephone - not personally, anyway. "Would you like to go back to sleep?" he asked, though he thought there were far better ways to make use of their time. Sleep could wait.

Lifting her head once again, Ayden raised a brow, wondering why he was asking such a seemingly silly question. After spending an entire day alternately worrying and being teased about him, the last thing she wanted to do now he was with her was sleep. "Inspiration comes from all kinds of sources," she pointed out, choosing to respond to his endearing moment of wittering about phones rather than dignify a silly question with an obvious answer.

"Do I inspire you, love?" he asked, unable to help himself from indulging his ego, just a little. He was a god, after all, or, at the very least, a being so highly advanced as to seem godlike to mere mortals. He moved to his feet, taking her hand and pulling her up with him. First things first - the sun was rising and he wanted to greet the day with her in his arms.

6
Disposable Heroes / Stifling
« on: July 07, 2014, 09:37:21 AM »
[size=9]November 22nd, 2012[/size]

The afternoon dragged on, moods tempered by the departure of Hope and Ares, one to the future, and one to a fight that could kill him. The couples in the Singer house paired off easily - Ellen roped Bobby into doing something mysterious to her stove while she stood over him teasingly; Dean and Jo, once they decided there really was nothing more they could do for their son, retired to their bedroom above to grieve together for the goodbye given to their daughter. That left Ayden and Sam at loose ends; one very much alone, the other worrying over the lover who was far away.

Worrying, that is, until she made an effort to pull herself together. It was ridiculous to sit and stew over something she had no control over, and being in the house with two happy couples was slightly maddening. A grin touched her face as she recalled what the old Dean had done the first time they'd been alone together, and she resolved to do the same, seeking out Sam. "C'mon," she told her grown nephew, throwing his jacket at him. "We're going out for a bit, you and me."

Sam was wallowing a little in self pity, but if anyone deserved to wallow, he thought it was him. Still, he had made this choice himself, knowing what the consequences would be, knowing he'd be left alone in the past without his sister to re-learn how to fit in. He'd allowed his mother to fuss over him, assuring both her and his father that he was fine, though nothing could be further from the truth. For perhaps the first time in his life, Samuel Winchester was feeling all alone in the world. "I don't want to go out," he sullenly told his Aunt Ayden, who was ironically only a few years older than him at this point in time.

"Yeah, well, I'm not listening," she informed him. "Don't make me find someone stronger than me to get you into the car. I'm engaged to an Olympian, you never know who it might be." It wasn't much of a threat, admittedly, but she wasn't going to be outdone in stubbornness by a boy she had apparently helped to raise. "C'mon, kiddo, we're not going far. Just, you know, away from the happy couples for a bit."

He would have pointed out that she was one half of one of the so-called happy couples, but he was smart enough to know Ares had gone off to finish what they'd started, feeling just a little indignant that he hadn't been invited along. "You're not taking me to the damned donut shop that's gonna give Dad diabetes one day, are you?" he asked, eying her suspiciously. It wasn't all that hard to figure out really. There weren't that many places worth going around here that fit the description of "not going far".

"That's the place," she nodded, hands on her hips. A coaxing smile tugged at the corner of her lips as she turned to cajoling, rather than bullying. "C'mon, you know you like donuts as much as the rest of us. My treat. Jelly, cream, frosting ..." She went on to list as many toppings and fillings as she could, her expression warm and decidedly determined. Sam wasn't going to get away with not coming with her.

He sighed in defeated resignation. There was no way he was getting out of it, and he didn't really want to be alone anyway. "Misery loves company," he admitted finally. "But I'm having two. It's a two donut kinda day." Donuts might not make him feel better, and they certainly wouldn't bring Hope back, but at least, it might take his mind off his misery for a little while, and he had a feeling Ayden needed his company as much as he needed hers.

"Atta boy." Ayden grinned in triumph, jerking her head for him to come with her as she thumped toward the door and her waiting car. The red convertible Impala might not have been the most practical car for the onset of winter, but she loved it too much to ever let it go.

Sam grabbed his jacket on the way out the door, shrugging into it as he followed Ayden to the car that was so like and yet unlike his father's Impala. In the future, that car would be his, but in this time period, he was on his own. He wondered what he was going to do now that he had made the decision to stay. He was going to have to find employment of some kind so he could get some transportation of his own and not have to rely on the generosity of his family to support him.

Once they were in, Ayden pulled away from B&E Salvage without looking back. She seemed to breathe easier as the house faded in the rear-view mirror, her fingers flexing on the steering wheel for a moment as she glanced over at her nephew. "Sucks, doesn't it?" she said, and there was a great deal of empathy in her voice. Perhaps, of all of them, she could understand best what he was going through. She, too, had lost siblings.

Sam shrugged his shoulders, his face turned away from Ayden as he took in the view out the passenger window as they pulled away from the salvage yard and onto the road. "I made my choice. Now I have to live with it." That was only partially true. Apollo could still take Sam back to his own time if he asked him to, but he'd made up his mind already and he wasn't about to change it. Whatever his personal feelings were and however much he missed his sister, he felt he was more needed here in this time than back home where the battle with Hades was already over.

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean it still doesn't suck," Ayden told him gently, her own eyes on the road. She didn't want to intrude, but she didn't want Sam to hole up in his own personal hell for the next twenty years, either. "So you had a say in it. You're still allowed to get angry, to get sad. It's called a process for a reason, Sam. Grief takes time."

"I'm not angry," Sam countered, turning his head to face Ayden at last. "I just miss her. That's all. We've been together forever." He thought that, of everyone at Sioux Falls, his father was most likely the one who'd understand most, though everyone there seemed to have suffered some loss or another, including Ayden. "Sorry," he apologized with a frown, realizing she was dealing with her own worries at the moment. He knew what Ares was up to, and he knew Ayden was worried about him. "It's a little weird for me sometimes. I mean, you aren't much older than I am. I know stuff you don't. I should be comforting you, not the other way around."

"We're pretty much the same age, Sam," she told him softly, a gentle smile on her face as she glanced his way. "It's gonna be weird for a while. But I owe you, you know. You saved my life in California. It's not something I'm gonna be able to repay in kind."

7
Disposable Heroes / Sweet Sorrow
« on: July 05, 2014, 12:35:59 PM »
[size=9]November 22nd, 2012[/size]

This morning had come too soon for the Singer household. Half of the inhabitants had been up all night - father, son, and daughter, sharing stories and trying to hold back the advance of time toward dawn with will power alone, while mother, aunt and uncle slept, not wishing to disturb what was so clearly needed. Ares returned Ayden to them as morning crept on, and by common consent, they had gathered together for the best breakfast Ellen was able to put together at such short notice. But as morning crept toward afternoon, they couldn't put it off any longer.

Hope stood in the middle of the study, Apollo waiting patiently by the desk, and faced her family with unhappy eyes. "I, uh, I guess this is it, then."

Though Bobby was the eldest and Dean was her father, it was Sam who stepped forward first to say goodbye to his sister. Smiling through a veil of tears, he took her in his arms to give her a gentle hug. They had been over all this before the previous day, and yet, he still felt the need to remind her that she wasn't just leaving them but going home, where she belonged and where - if everything went according to plan - they'd all be waiting. Though it was tucked beneath his shirt, he was wearing the ring Apollo had given her on a chain around his neck, close to his heart, where it would always remain. "Say hello to older me when you get there. Even if you don't remember this, I will, and I'll be wearing your ring as proof," he whispered for her ears alone.

Tearful herself, Hope cuddled into her big brother's embrace, nodding her agreement to his whisper as she squeezed him tight. It was no comfort to know that she wouldn't remember any of this when she was back in her own timestream; she felt the goodbye keenly in this moment. "I love you, Bertie," she whispered back to him, quick to dry her eyes before the tears fell, not wanting to leave him with the sight of her in tears again.

"I love you, too, Hope. Always have, always will," he whispered back, tears shining in his own eyes as he lifted his head from her shoulder to meet her gaze. "You're my best friend," he told her, his voice breaking. "I'll-I'll tell you all about our adventures when you get home, okay?"

"You'd better," she warned him, sniffing to keep herself at least vaguely under control. "I'm totally relying on you to be the easy-going uncle here." She flashed him a grin, gently ruffling her big brother's hair one last time.

It would be weird going back home to find one brother her age and one who was twenty years or so older, more uncle than brother. It would be twenty years or so before the Hope that he knew and loved would be old enough to share his secret and even then, there was no guarantee she'd believe him. At least he'd have his parents, and Bobby and Ellen, to back him up. He wondered what his younger counterpart would think when he found out the truth. Would he be jealous? Was it better to leave well enough alone and not tell her at all? Or maybe he should only tell her and not his younger self. It was all very confusing, but thankfully, he had twenty years or so to figure it all out. He chuckled a little at her remark, even as he swiped at an errant tear. "No guarantees, but I'll try. It'll be hard to fool me. I know all our tricks."

"You taught me all our tricks," she pointed out, backing up a step with a laugh, glad she'd brought a smile onto his face at the last. Her eyes flickered to Bobby and Ellen, and the older woman swept her up in a tight hug, swift and warm, propelling the youngest Winchester in the room into Bobby's arms whether he was happy to hug the girl or not.

Bobby offer a very grandfatherly hug, trying his best to remain stoic failing miserably. "This ain't good-bye, baby girl. We're gonna see each other again real soon. You be good for your mom and dad and have a safe trip home."

"You better be there," Hope told the older generation as sternly as she could manage. "'Cos I gotta learn how to cook somehow, and I'm not good with Latin yet. So there."

Ellen chuckled softly, recognizing their place in this little girl's life, finding it easier to say goodbye in the knowledge that it would only be a few years before they had her back again.

Dean hung back, reluctant to say good-bye. In a way, he was glad he was hanging onto one half of the duo, and he had often wondered over the last few days why he couldn't keep them both. If Sam's theory was right, there would be two Sams in the future. Why not two Hopes? But he had the feeling that might be pushing their luck a little too far. He knew there was one Fate left out there somewhere waiting to exact her revenge, and he didn't want that revenge to be taken out on his children. Sam remained close to Hope, though he had already said good-bye. Of all of them, Dean knew this parting was likely hardest on him, and his thoughts toward his eldest son softened. He wouldn't be like John, he reminded himself. He'd be a real father to his children - all his children.

"Don't you worry. I plan to be," Bobby replied, glancing at Dean and Nim or Jo or whatever name she was going by now. "You better get on with it then."

"Yes, Grampa." For the first time, Hope called Bobby by the name she and Sam had planted on him when they were children, rather than the safer Uncle Bobby she'd been using since they got here. She kissed his cheek, and whirled away to catch Ayden in her grip.

If Dean's sister was surprised by the sheer force of emotion that radiated from Hope as the girl hugged her, she did her best to hide it, knowing now that she had raised this girl through her teens and hoping like hell that future had changed for the better. "All right, squirt, ease off," Ayden murmured, gently setting the girl back from her with a smile. "Won't be so long before you see me again."

Hope nodded, rubbing at her nose as she sniffed once again. "I know," she promised. "Just remember to take a coupla pictures of the wedding this time. Always pissed me off that you didn't."

Ares stood quietly behind Ayden, saying nothing but looking on with a wistful look on his face, perhaps thinking of his own family and missing them, or at least, some of them. "Pictures?" he asked when Hope remarked on that. There were no camera on Mount Olympus.

8
Disposable Heroes / Laid Low in Love
« on: July 04, 2014, 07:26:26 AM »
[size=9]November 21st, 2012 - Greece[/size]

It was early afternoon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when Ares and Ayden blinked out of the Singer kitchen and arrived back at Ares' villa in Porto Heli, Greece, where it was early evening, sunlight kissing the sea and casting a warm glow over the gardens and greenery that surrounded the villa. If there was such a thing as Paradise on Earth, this place came close.

It was certainly a magical place for Ayden. She relaxed the moment they appeared in the villa, the tension she had been carrying disappearing from her frame as she stepped away, quick to shuck out of her woolen sweater and thick boots, leaving herself barefoot on the warm terracotta tile. "I didn't mean to drop you in the middle of a family reunion," she said softly, turning apologetic eyes to her companion. "But thank you, for healing Dean. I know it's not really one of your skills, but I do appreciate it."

He shrugged as if it wasn't such a big deal, which to him, it really wasn't. "He would have healed in time, but he wouldn't be of much use wounded as he was. It's a skill I learned from my mother. It's helpful in battle." He drew a deep breath of the salt-sea air, filling his immortal lungs with it. It smelled different here - cleaner, fresher - untainted by Hades and his minions.

Ayden smiled at him, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. "Word to the wise, baby," she said softly, stroking her fingertips against his cheek as she rose up on her toes to kiss him. "I just thanked you for something you didn't have to do. Accept the gratitude without telling me why I don't have to be thankful, okay?"

"Why wouldn't I have healed him?" Ares countered, arching a brow at her, even as she kissed him. Even if she hadn't asked him to heal her brother, he more than likely would have done it on his own eventually.

"Because he wouldn't have let you," she pointed out, shaking her hair back off her neck. Though it was winter in Greece, like everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, it was significantly warmer here than in Sioux Falls. "Do you always take everything so very literally?"

"Literally?" he echoed curiously, unsure what she meant by that exactly. "Have I misunderstood your meaning?" he asked, wondering what he'd done wrong. He'd found her brother's way of speaking difficult to understand, at times, but he'd never had too much trouble understanding Ayden.

"No, not really," she assured him. "I think I'm stalling, to be honest." She drew in a deep breath, stepping back from him to look out across the beautiful mountainous vista, knowing certain parts of it only too intimately now. "You know, he and I had quite an important conversation, before I called for you."

He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist as she looked out across the mountains, now that they were alone again, just happy to be near her. He misunderstood her again, presuming she thought he knew what they'd talked about. "I was not listening while you were speaking with your brother. I do not know what the two of you discussed."

She laughed softly, leaning back into his arms with easy comfort. "That wasn't what I meant," she assured him. "It's a manner of speaking, a way of highlighting that I want you to know what was said. Like a verbal warning that I'm going to share something important with you. Does that make sense?"

He considered that a moment before replying, enjoying the feel of her in his arms, the soft feminine scent of her filling his senses. She was a distraction, to be sure, of the very best kind. "Yes, I suppose it does," he admitted, looking out at the view he knew and loved so well. "What was your important conversation about?"

It took a moment for her to answer, wondering if he was going to misconstrue this, as well. "Us," she said eventually, her head turning to let her eyes find his. "You and me. He gave me some good advice, that I intend to take. Would you like to hear it?"

He arched a single brow as she turned to meet his gaze. The answer to her question seemed obvious, but he answered just the same. "If it concerns us both, then I believe I should hear it, yes."

"Well ... it boils down to grab life by the balls," Ayden mused softly. "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because you never know what might happen." She twisted in his arms, stroking her fingertips against his chest as she looked up at him, her skin coloring as she drew her courage together. "I love you, Ares. I don't want to wait."

He gave her that infuriatingly confused look again, as he tried to sort out the slang she was using that he assumed had come from her brother. "Balls?" he asked, wondering just what she meant by that, but then she was sort of explaining. He looked down at her as she turned to face him, his arms loosely circling her waist. "You... don't want to wait?" he repeated, puzzled, before he realized the enormity of what she was telling him. It might only be three little words, but they were three little words with a lot of meaning. "You love me?" he asked, blond brows arching upwards, as if he was unsure whether or not he'd heard her right.

"Yeah." She nodded, her expression soft but worried, uncertain whether his reaction was a good one or not. "I love you. And I don't want to be without you. There's no reason to wait, not when I feel this way. I know my own heart, Ares. It's yours."

He found his immortal heart was beating a little bit faster at the realization that she loved him, at the thought of her becoming his wife and belonging to him and only him. He cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand, his gaze softening on her. In all the many years of his existence, no one had quite touched his heart the way this mortal woman had. "And I love you," he echoed her sentiment. "You will be my wife then?" he asked, almost afraid to hear her answer. She had asked him for a year, until all this nonsense with Hades was over, but it seemed she had changed her mind.

Gazing up at him, Ayden marveled at the thought that she'd ever considered making him wait for her to be ready. But then, she hadn't known she was ready until Dean had pointed it out to her. He was absolutely right - she would regret making Ares wait even a month for the answer that was already rock solid in her heart and mind. "Yes," she whispered shyly, the tiniest hint of a sweet smile on her lips. "If you'll have me."

9
Disposable Heroes / Reunion
« on: June 30, 2014, 12:50:54 PM »
[size=9]November 21st, 2012[/size]

Just as their unexpected protector had said, the dawn brought with it Apollo, eager to get them off the island of Maui and home to Sioux Falls, to the safest place on Earth for anyone who happened to be a Winchester or attached to one in any way. It had taken a little effort to stop reaffirming their affection and get some sleep before he arrived, but somehow Dean and Jo had managed it, dressed and ready to go as soon as the Olympian arrived. Barely a heartbeat later, they appeared in Bobby's study, and without a word, Jo abandoned Dean, running into the kitchen as fast as she could. As Ellen yelped in surprise, no doubt enveloped in a hug that Jo was going to have to explain, Ayden launched herself off the couch by the window and hugged her brother tightly, more relieved to see him than she could put into words.

Talk about awkward. Dean had just killed a goddess Apollo had once wooed, but the Olympian didn't seem to hold it against him. Apparently, the line had been drawn in the sand, and the Olympians were starting to pick sides, though Apollo had apparently already picked sides ages ago. The trip back to Sioux Falls was so fast, it almost made Dean's head spin. In fact, his head was still spinning when he found himself being suddenly and unexpectedly squeezed into a tight hug by his sister, while Jo hurried off to greet her mother. "Whoa, sis," he winced through a chuckle, the vice-like grip she had on him making his side ache again. "I missed you, too!"

"I was so worried," she admitted, a little bit tearful as she confessed this. Despite two glorious days in Greece with Ares, nothing had quite been able to take her mind off her brother and his wife. "Why the hell didn't you call?" Ayden drew back, glaring up at her brother accusingly as, behind her, his grown daughter snickered into her hand.

"Maybe he couldn't get through," Hope suggested with a wicked grin. "You know, seeing as you weren't on the continent."

Dean tried to hide the wince and the fact that he was favoring one side. It wasn't anything that was going to kill him, and it would mend itself soon enough. He'd had far worse and pulled through. He wasn't going to let a few bruised ribs slow him down. "Uh," he stammered in response to Ayden's question. It was a good question. "Jo..." He broke off with an awkward frown. "Nim and I were too busy celebrating." Which was to say they were too busy enjoying each other and patching each other up. Dean tossed a puzzled look at his future daughter. "What do you mean? I thought you were going after the Fates." He winced again as he eased himself onto the couch.

"Oh, we did," Hope nodded enthusiastically, adjusting herself on the arm of the couch, that grin so like her father's not even hinting at fading any time soon. "We got two of them, not just the one. And we got the Dagger, too. But, you know, it's a two day journey back from Stanford, and Ares -"

Ayden jumped in before Hope could go any further, crouching down in front of her brother. "You look like you got totaled by a bus," she informed Dean. "What happened to you guys?"

"And?" he prompted, just before Hope replied. "Two?" Dean grinned, looking up at his daughter with pride, as Ayden jumped in with an explanation. "That's my girl!" he exclaimed, before eying her a little more closely and reaching over to touch her jacket. "Isn't that my coat?" He turned his head back to his sister as she crouched down in front of him, brows furrowed in confusion. He was proud of both of them, but something his daughter said gave him pause.

"Ares?" he asked, curiously, but then Ayden was asking him what had happened to them. He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously, knowing a diversion when he was faced with one. "Ares the Greek God of War?" he asked. "Aren't you two an item or something in the future?" he gestured to his sister, uncertainly.

To Hope's everlasting glee, Ayden blushed deeply, confirming the suspicion the youngest Winchester had been having since Ares had delivered her aunt home that morning. Dean's sister fidgeted awkwardly, brushing her hair back out of her eyes. "We needed an advantage," Ayden told Dean, flashing a warning look in Hope's direction. "And, well, the kids figured that since he's going to be, uh ... a friend in the future, why not bump up the schedule a little?"

Dean glanced between the two young woman, both of whom he loved dearly, noting the obvious glee in the youngest Winchester, as well as the obvious nervousness from his sister. "Okay, let me get this straight..." he started, ticking off a list on his fingers. "We have Zeus, Apollo, possibly Aphrodite and Artemis on our side. We have the Hind's Blood Dagger, and lest we forget, Jo - Nim - and I just risked our necks to get Death's Scythe." He paused to grin mischievously. "By the way, we got it!"

"Awesome!" Hope crowed in approval of her father's announcement, matching his grin with her own even as Ayden bit her lip and rose to perch on the edge of Bobby's desk. "Hey, don't forget Ares in your list," the youngest Winchester pointed out. "Nobody's a closer ally than him, I'll betcha."

Ayden rolled her eyes. "Hope, if you don't shut up right now, I'm going to suture your mouth shut," she threatened her niece with a sigh.

Dean sobered, still looking between the two women, following his sister's retreat to Bobby's desk with his eyes. "Hope, would you give me and your aunt a few minutes alone?" he asked, his gaze never leaving Ayden's. He wasn't stupid, by any means, and was getting the gist of what Hope was hinting at, but he wanted to hear it from his sister, not his daughter.

Hope's grin faded, though the mischief never left her eyes. "Cool," she agreed. "I'll go and, uh ... find Sam." Rising, she smirked at Ayden and slipped out of the study, leaving brother and sister looking at each other in silence.

That silence held for a very long time, before Ayden drew together the courage to say something. "He loves me," she told Dean very softly.

Dean's gaze never left Ayden's, waiting patiently for her to gather enough courage to fess up to whatever it was she needed to tell him. When she finally spoke, his only initial reaction for a moment was the slight arch of a single eyebrow. "You've known him how long?" he asked, the protective big brother in him coming out, whether he realized it or not.

She quailed under that look, turning pale under her blush as her fingers picked at themselves in her lap. "I don't think it's the kind of feeling that needs time to be there," she said quietly, staring down at her hands. "But about six days. He's been watching me for a few years, though, if that helps."

10
Disposable Heroes / Greek Sunset (AU)
« on: February 21, 2014, 08:44:55 AM »
[size=9]November 18th, 2012[/size][/b]

The tour of the villa and gardens ended late that afternoon with the guest house, which overlooked the beach and featured a view of the bay, shimmering in the late afternoon sun like a blue diamond. Though the house was small, it was quaint and cozy, painted in pastel shades of yellow and peach and surrounded by flowering gardens and greenery of its own. The furniture that filled the house was as modern as that in the villa, with upholstery done in muted florals in a soothing palate that gave the interior an air of summer, no matter the season. It was a bright, sunny place, separated from the villa by a small copse of trees and bushes that offered more privacy than could be found at the villa.  

Ares had arranged to have a sumptuous dinner set out on the patio that afforded a view of not only the beach and the bay beyond it, but a glorious view of the setting sun. A table for two had been set on the patio, and for the time being, one servant was in attendance to tend to their needs. The meal featured roast lamb, along with roasted potatoes, various cheeses and breads, olives, and a side dish featuring eggplant and zucchini. A bottle of wine was left chilling in a bucket of ice, and there was coffee and cake for dessert.

When, finally, Ayden had been convinced to part from him for a little while, it was to find that a change of clothes had been laid out on the bed in the second bedroom of the little guest house. The dressmaker had been busy, it seemed, if she had managed to alter a dress and provide underwear and shoes in a single day. Less than an hour later, freshened by a shower, she surveyed herself in the full length mirror that stood in a corner, trying to work out if she looked any different. Would her family be able to tell what had happened between herself and Ares, or would that remain her secret for as long as she tried to keep it from them, she wondered. She couldn't see any difference in herself, no real clue that she was a woman after the tender sharing in his temple.

Shaking her head, she banished those thoughts, a tiny smile touching her face as she turned to venture out of the room, toward the patio that was bathed in the setting sunlight. It was ridiculous, how nervous she felt, almost as though this was her first date. Smoothing her hands down over her hips, she stepped out into the pink-touched sunlight, looking around for her ... her lover.

As for Ares, he, too, had changed out of his t-shirt and jeans into a dark violet dress shirt and tailored black slacks, his hair parted and carefully combed to the side. With his natural good looks and chiseled features, he could have passed for a model or a movie star, if one didn't know what he really was. When she stepped out onto the patio, he was busy plucking a late-blooming rose to offer his beloved, though the rose paled in beauty beside her.

The smile that lit her face at the sight of him was brighter and warmer than any sun, touched with a fresh intimacy that no one could take away from them now. Her gaze flickered over him, admiring the way he filled out his chosen clothing, the subtlety with which his garb hinted at the strength and control within him. Drawing in a slow breath, she moved toward him, biting down on her nerves. "You look very handsome."

He turned to face her, smiling warmly as his gaze moved over her, obviously pleased with the beautiful sight before him. He couldn't help but notice the change in her, the way she seemed to glow from the inside out, just because he'd made love to her, or so he assumed. Or was it something more than that? Could she really be falling in love with him? "Ayden," he started, in a hushed voice, almost as though she took his breath away. "You are beautiful."

Her smile flickered, shyly pleased with the compliment even if she didn't quite know how to take one with any kind of grace yet. "It's the dress that's beautiful," she argued quietly. "Some of it is rubbing off on me, I guess."

"No, it's you. The dress only enhances your beauty," he corrected her, stepping closer to offer her the rose he'd been holding in his hand. "For you, who are as lovely as a rose."

The blush that touched her cheeks was no longer innocent, but still sweet in its own way, a sign of the naive heart easily touched by sincere compliments. Her fingers brushed his as she took the rose from his grasp, green eyes never breaking the intimate contact between them as she raised the bloom to her nose to smell the delicate fragrance. "It's beautiful," she told him softly, though her eyes seemed to imply she was talking more about him than the flower in her hand. "Thank you."

"There is no need to thank me, Ayden. It is I who should be thanking you." He offered her an arm to lead her a little away from the patio and the servant who was hovering, awaiting his master's instructions. "Do you like it here?" he asked. "Could you see yourself living here?" He had promised not to pressure her or mention anything about becoming immortal, but he had not made any promises regarding this place.

Her hands curled into the crook of his elbow as he drew her away from the one pair of ears that might still overhear them, her smile turning with wry amusement at his questions. He was almost like a child, she realised, in wanting everything now. It was rather an endearing flaw in his character. "Maybe in a year," she answered his question honestly, looking out across the bay that lay dappled with setting sunlight. "I do like it here. It's very easy to imagine living here, with you. Someday."

"I know you would miss your family, but we can visit as often as you like."  With a God for a husband, visiting her family would be as simple as snapping his fingers. They'd never have to deal with the crowds or airports or security checks. They could go wherever they wanted anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. He smiled, pleased with her answer and lifted a hand to touch her cheek. He had promised her and himself that he wouldn't get too far ahead, that he wouldn't talk about the future, but it was hard to resist when all he wanted was her. "You don't know how happy it makes me to hear you say that."

"As happy as you were this afternoon?" Losing that innocence had not made her any less apt to tease him, it seemed, the sparkle in her eyes matching the impish curve of her lips as she echoed his smile, leaning into him as he touched her cheek. "I forgot to ask if there was anything else I should have done, to make a proper sacrifice to my lord Ares."

Perhaps she should not have asked such a thing, as the smile faded from his face and he sobered, taking her question all too seriously. "You could give me your heart," he replied softly. "And I will promise to always keep it safe."

11
Disposable Heroes / Respite (AU)
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:10:55 AM »
[size=9]((Follows on after Sanctuary. Contains material of an adult nature toward the end.))[/size]

Midday had barely come by the time the dressmaker Ares had sent for arrived, bearing with her two huge suitcases of clothing, shoes, and underwear. She didn't speak a word of English, bustling Ayden into a private room from which there was no sound but the occasional yelp or giggle for around an hour. But it was a productive hour - by the time the girl reappeared, she was dressed, and the dressmaker disappeared up the stairs with one of the staff of the villa to stock drawers and closets with clothing that would both fit and suit the young woman the master had brought home with him. Embarrassed by the attention, and feeling more than a little out of her depth, Ayden went in search of Ares, only to be distracted by the view once again. She stepped out onto the veranda, one shoulder finding a lean against one of the columns that held the tiled shade in place, gazing out over the rolling foothills of Mount Taygetus in quiet awe.

As for Ares, he'd disappeared as well, but to his own quarters for a time. Not to the small set of rooms he was sharing with Ayden, but to another suite, much simpler in decoration, where he tended to stay when he was alone here. This was a private place with a locked door, where very few were ever allowed entry, a place of solitude where he was not allowed to be disturbed. What he was doing there, why he had secreted himself away, was no one's business or concern but his own. He would reveal this place - this inner sanctum - to Ayden, only when he was ready, only when she agreed to be his wife and he was sure she was his. Until then, this place remained his secret.

He was not there when she returned to the veranda, but she didn't have to wait very long for him to arrive. He did his best to hide the pained expression from his face for her sake, the sight of her standing there taking his breath away and distracting him from other worries and concerns. She was certainly a sight, and he could think of no one who was more worthy of immortality than her. He slipped up quietly behind her, arms weaving around her waist as his lips found the nape of her neck. "You look lovely," he remarked in a hushed voice, as though he was afraid talking might spoil the moment.

Surprised by his quiet approach, she gasped softly, the sound fading as her lips curved in a smile that was beginning to be reserved just for him, as his arms curled about her waist. Her hand rose as she stepped out of her lean, reaching back to stroke against his cheek as she looked up at him. "Thank you," she murmured, accepting the compliment without a fight for once. And though he was doing a good job of hiding that pain from his expression, she was training to be a doctor. She could feel the tension in him. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he lied. "Are you ready for our walk?" he asked, changing the subject. He had instructed his staff to prepare and pack a light meal, which he'd left, for the moment, on the table where they'd breakfasted a short time ago. "How did things go with the dressmaker?" he asked further, turning the attention away from him onto her.

She wasn't convinced by the lie, but let him have it, trusting him to tell her if something was very wrong. His change of subject, however, made her roll her eyes. "You mean before or after she grabbed my boobs and started shaking them around?" she asked, demonstrating just to make sure he was completely clear on what she was talking about.

That made him laugh, which only caused him more pain, but he was too amused to let it bother him. It had been a minor wound, not deep, a simple scouring of flesh. It should have healed by now, but instead it seemed to be festering and getting worse. He'd managed to keep it to himself for now, hoping it would mend on its own, too proud to ask his mother or anyone else for help. As an Olympian, his flesh was impervious to mortal wounds, but the dagger used to cut him was no ordinary weapon. "I should like to have seen that."

"Play your cards right, I might let you recreate the moment," she told him, a little playful and perhaps a little promising as she turned in his arms to look up at him properly. Her fingertips traced the curve of his cheek, wondering at just how this gorgeous specimen could possibly believe himself to be in love with her. "So what are we going to do?" she asked him curiously, one brow ticking upward as she smiled once again.

"My cards. I do not play cards, Ayden." He considered quietly a moment, trying to sort out what it was she was trying to say. "Did you wish to make a wager?" he asked, misunderstanding her yet again, but then she was turning to face him, and her beauty nearly took his breath away yet again. It was good she didn't ask him what he wanted to do, or she might have received a very different answer than that of a mere walk. "If you wish, I will show you the villa." All of it, but one locked set of rooms.

She couldn't help the quiet giggle that escaped at his misunderstanding, shaking her head even as she kept that gentle caress tracing his features with a tenderness she hadn't thought herself capable of. "It's a figure of speech," she told him. "It means keep doing what you're doing, because it's the right thing." On impulse, she rose up onto her toes and kissed him then, a soft, shy press of her lips to his, wanting to share some of the tenderness she was feeling, even if she didn't yet understand it. "What do you want to do?"

Each touch, each caress, each kiss went one step further in taming his wild spirit, soothing his troubled mind. He drew comfort from her touch in a way unlike he had with any other woman since Aphrodite. It was what had drawn him to her all those years ago - her gentle demeanor, so unlike his tormented heart. But this was not Aphrodite, this was Ayden. She was not forbidden, nor did she belong to someone else; she was free to choose for herself who she would love, and he hoped it would be him. Faced with such a question, he could only be honest, even though she might not like the answer. "I wish to make love to you," he replied, honestly and bluntly.

On the contrary, she liked his answer very much, if the gentle rose flush on her cheeks was anything to go by. Add to that the sudden shallowness of her breath, the way her eyes darkened with longing, and he could be pretty certain that she wasn't at all averse to that suggestion. But perhaps she wasn't quite ready to approach it as a task he wanted to complete, though she was sure he didn't mean it that way at all. Her fingers brushed his throat, her palm settling against his chest as she looked up at him, shy and confident all at once, sure that he would not walk away from her for saying what she was about to say. "Can ... can we let it happen when it happens?" she asked him in a soft whisper. "It isn't far away, I just ... I'm shy and a little bit scared of not being good enough. Maybe in the moment I won't feel that way."

"You have nothing to fear, beloved," he assured her quietly, surprisingly so for a god known for his warlike qualities. "I will be gentle," he promised, touching her cheek softly as if to prove his claims, but he did not press her further. He was confident it would happen sooner or later, if he, as she had said, "played his cards right", though this was no game. Not to him. The thought of life without her was becoming harder to bear.

12
Disposable Heroes / Sanctuary (AU)
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:55:08 AM »
[size=9]((Immediately follows Wise Counsel.))[/size]

Perhaps she should have considered what it was she was asking him, that she had asked to be taken away for more than a few hours, and should have stopped to collect her bag, but in the gloom of the night, shaken and wanting to run away, little details like that did not occur to Ayden at all. And though she was becoming used to Ares' method of transportation, he hadn't thought to warn her that it was daylight in the place where they ended up. Half-blinded by brilliantly warm sunshine, she cried out quietly, shielding her eyes with one hand thrown up to cover her face as she winced, wondering where on Earth he had brought her.

The villa in the Peloponnese was especially lovely in the morning with the sunlight shining off the bay, a warm breeze gently stirring the trees that surrounded the villa and the surrounding hillside. It was a perfect day, even for autumn, warm but lacking the heat and humidity of summer. He had not been there for quite some time, but had plenty of servants to take care of the place in his absence. As far as they knew, he was a wealthy businessman who had been named for the Greek God of War and who they only saw on very rare occasions.

As her eyes adjusted to the brightness, Ayden took in the details of stone walls, clean modern lines, comfortable but obviously high-end furniture ... and the view. Her mouth fell open in awe at the view which presented itself at the wide doors close by, a sweeping vista of tree-covered foothills and rolling fields, dotted with distant villages. She'd seen places like this in pictures, her eyes widening as she glanced up at the Olympian who held her. "Did ... is this Greece?"

"Yes," he replied, as if he was a little surprised at the question. Of course it was Greece. There was no other place like it in the entire world. "I thought you might find it more comfortable here than the Amazon." Though here, they would not be quite so secluded as in the rainforest, he thought she might find a villa with a proper bed and bath and dining room more to her tastes, and he was hoping to please her. "Do you like it? Would you rather go somewhere else?"

He was right about her preferring somewhere with facilities. Despite how shaken she was by a dream she had woken from only minutes before, Ayden couldn't help smiling, delighted to find herself halfway across the world, in such a beautiful place, entirely at his whim. "Oh, no, it's beautiful here," she rushed to assure him, her curiosity taking her over the cool tiles laid on the floor toward the doors that opened out onto that amazing view. The whole place felt different, special somehow; even the quality of the sunshine was different, more golden, more illuminating, warmer through her pajamas. "I never thought I'd ever come to Europe. And here I am. You just made a dream come true without even knowing about it."

"I can take you wherever you wish to go, Ayden," he reminded her again, wondering if she had realized yet the implications of that simple statement. He had to admit that over the centuries he'd grown bored of that fact. He'd been everywhere he could possibly go. There were few places that had escaped his attention, and yet, visiting places with her that he'd too long taken for granted was like seeing them anew through her eyes. "It is lovely, I will grant you that." She brought a renewed interest for this place, and he wondered how many of the places he'd once loved had changed over time and whether she'd like to explore them again with her. Someday, when war wasn't hanging over their heads.

"You're kidding, right? This is more than lovely, it's ..." She twisted to look at him, green eyes bright with interest, heedless of the tear tracks still staining her face. "Where are we?" she asked him, a hint of excitement in her tone as she spoke. "Are we near Athens, or is this in Sparta? We're not on Crete, that mountain range is too hilly, I know that much. I've seen pictures and documentaries and I've read books, and none of it compares to actually seeing it."

"We are in the Peloponnese. This place is called Porto Heli. It is... not near Athens," he replied, though it wasn't all that far from Sparta. He wasn't overly fond of Athens himself, but had always been made to feel welcome here, or at the very least, not unwelcome as he'd been in some other places. But all that was eons ago. No one knew him here anymore. The old Gods were nothing more than legend, tales to tell their children. "I... procured the land long ago, but I only had the villa built in recent years. I thought I might want to stay here now and then, but..." He shrugged.

"So ..." She half-turned once again, pointing toward the foothills that rose into a mountain range so very close to them. "So somewhere in there is Mount Taygetus? We're that close to Sparta?" The curiosity had grown into outright pleasure as she realised she was with someone who could not only tell her about the ruins she might see, but who had built them, what their purpose had been, how they were used. Her dream and its terrors forgotten, she threw her arms around Ares' neck, kissing his cheek as she giggled like a child. "Thank you for bringing me here! It's wonderful!"

He was about to answer her question, when he found her unexpectedly throwing her arms about his neck and thanking him with a kiss to the cheek. He couldn't help but laugh a little at the childlike wonder and pleasure that this simple thing had given her. "I am glad you like it. Very glad." He was, in fact, so glad his whole face lit up with a rare smile that made his hazel-green eyes sparkle like the sun against the water.

"Will you take me to see some of the places around here?" she asked him hopefully, dropping her arms from his neck to loop about his waist instead, extending the innocent intimacy even as she looked around once again. "It doesn't have to be anywhere famous or anything like that. Just places that mean something to you. Teach me about them."

"If you wish," he replied, circling her in his embrace. "I should probably tell someone we're here," he admitted, though he really didn't want to spoil the intimacy of this moment just yet. The caretaker and servants would realize he was there soon enough, and when they saw he had a guest, there would be no end to their fussing over the two of them. Though it was morning here, it had been the middle of the night when he'd heard her call him, and he wasn't sure if she was still sleepy. "What would you like to do?" he asked, putting himself at her service, at her beck and call.

Though it was the very first hour of the morning back at home, Ayden had managed to get almost four hours of sleep before needing to be woken from her dreamscape, the sense of weariness faded easily in the face of so much to do, so much to see and learn. She would, no doubt, have an early night, or perhaps nap later on in the Greek day, but for now, she felt as awake as she ever had. As his arms encircled her, she laid her head against his shoulder, her smile soft as she looked out over the sweeping panorama that surrounded his villa. "I should have stopped to get my bag," she realised belatedly. "You can't be seen with me in just my jammies."

13
Disposable Heroes / Wise Counsel (AU)
« on: February 14, 2014, 07:40:18 AM »
[size=9]November 18th, 2012[/size]

The Amazon was teeming with life, even at night, as the creatures of the day took their rest, and the creatures of the night came alive, all of them vying for survival in the wild untamed beauty that was still untouched by mankind. One creature stood apart from the rest in his solitary, self-imposed isolation. One creature who was different from all the rest, neither man nor beast. One creature who had been born of a race so old they had nearly been forgotten by the rest of creation, fading from the memories of men long ago. They had waited long to return to power, to return to the hearts and minds of men. One of them had come to call the Amazon his home, and it was there he had waited for the great war between heaven and hell to be finished, and for men to remember. It was there he now rested,along with the creatures of the forest he so loved, weary and wounded and heartsick with worry over a woman he was slowly starting to love.

He had laid himself down on the cool grass to rest, but unable to sleep, laid awake staring up at the stars in the night sky, wondering if he was doing the right thing, choosing the right path; wondering if the future that had been foretold to him would surely come to pass, or if he was fated to be forever alone, forever an outcast from his own kind, forever apart.

Few beings make such an impression upon a place as an Olympian. It was virtually impossible to miss the arrival of any of his kind close by, but this visitor was particularly difficult to ignore. Tall and beautiful, but filled with a steel will few could consistently stand against - even her husband had given in, finally - Hera emerged from the darkness around her eldest son, looking down at him expectantly. "I really do wish you and your father could at least hold a civil conversation every now and then," she commented mildly. "Not that I mind being the bearer of news. It's the only chance I have to see you at all these days."

"Mother!" Ares exclaimed, rolling quickly to his feet, obviously startled by this sudden and unexpected visit from her, of all people. He had not yet found a shirt to replace the torn and bloodied one he'd left with Ayden, the wound incurred in his scuffle with the Fates not yet healed. "What are you doing here?" he asked, not displeased to see her, but presuming she had most likely come to scold him about one thing or another.

"Is a mother not allowed to visit her son?" Hera asked him pointedly, though he was right about there being an ulterior motive. She had not, however, come to scold him, but to bring a suggestion as to how he might, finally, win back his father's approval. "Don't think your activities have gone unnoticed, Ares. The breaking of the Fates has sent ripples through the world, consequences that are long overdue."

"Is it enough to make up for Troy?" he asked, unable to hide the bitterness from his voice. He thought it had been long enough that his sins and mistakes should be forgiven by now, but Zeus was not one to forgive easily. "There is still one left," he reminded her, though without her sisters, Clotho's power had been severely diminished.

Hera's expression darkened momentarily at the mention of Troy. That particular disaster had begun with an insult she had taken deeply to heart, which was why Ares had been pulled into it in the first place. He had always been a good son to her, and her past mistakes had plunged him into any number of bad situations. She brushed that aside, however, leveling her silvery gaze on her eldest child. "I would suggest that destroying the Spinner will gain, if not Zeus' love, then his gratitude. It would be a good place to start. If you then present him with a mortal worthy of you to be your consort, you may yet regain your welcome on Olympus."

Her suggestion caused his expression to change, a brief look of surprise on his face before it was quickly hidden behind a mask of grief and bitterness. He knew he'd made plenty of mistakes, but what father does not forgive their own child and welcome them home, after a time? "Did he send you to speak for him, or did you come of your own accord?" Ares asked as he settled himself back upon the cool grass.

"We have discussed it," she informed him, though that hardly answered his question. She had been working on Zeus for millenia to forgive the mistakes of their past reign, but only now, with Hades threatening to destroy the Earth they loved so well, had the King of the Olympians begun to soften in his view of those children who had stood against him at one time or another. A sharp look lanced down to Ares. "I do not act as messenger for any being, as you well know."

That was little answer, and he had to assume that she had come of her own accord. Was his father so ashamed of his son that he would not come see him for himself, or was he just too proud? Ares' demeanor softened at his mother's reply. He had no reason to be angry with her, though she had not always been pleased with him in the past. "I have only ever wished to please him and make him proud," Ares pointed out. "I do not know why he hates me so."

"Because you are the living testament who laid down judgement on his infidelities in my defense," Hera told him, her voice quiet but strong in the deafening stillness of the rainforest around them. "You stood for me and my honor when he could do nothing but insult and degrade me, and though you have fallen, you drew yourself up once more before he ever considered such an action for himself. We are petty in our jealousies, Ares, and your father can be pettier than most."

"I am not jealous any longer, Mother," he admitted, gravely. He'd had millenia to think on things and to reflect on his choices. Yes, he'd been jealous of Hephaestus; his love for Aphrodite had been true, and he'd felt cheated of that love by his own father and disgraced in front of his own people. And yes, he'd been jealous of Athena. He had felt it had been his rightful place to be his father's champion, and yet Zeus had favored a daughter not born of Hera over his eldest son. But all of that was in the past and no longer mattered. What Ares wanted now was to prove his own worth and be allowed to make his own choices and live his own life, not as an outcast, but as an Olympian.

"You have made a good beginning," his mother told him, as certain of that as she could ever have been. "You have his attention. But to leave a battle undecided, unfinished - to leave an enemy free and unhampered by injury or mutilation - these are not the ways of the God of War. Whether your heart has been touched or not, you cannot allow it to soften you in war. The Spinner must die."

14
Disposable Heroes / Sealed With a Kiss (AU)
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:50:31 AM »
[size=9]((Follows the events of Turn of Fates.))[/size]

Blood and pain came together in the awkward process of removing destroyed clothing with care to fill the quiet air of Ayden's bedroom in the dorm she shared with her best friend with some highly colorful curses. Despite how recently the slashes on her neck and arm had been inflicted, it had been long enough that the blood had begun to clot, sticking the wool of her top to her flesh as she and Ares worked together to peel the cloth away from her injuries. She was hoping not to have to call on a certain archangel, but the new flow of blood from her arm as her top was dropped to the floor was too much to countenance trying to pass it off as an accident of any kind. She whimpered softly at the pain in her neck, too, wincing as she looked up at Ares. "I'm gonna have to call someone to heal me," she told him, awkward and regretful. She had a feeling he wasn't going to get along with the angel on her shoulder.

He had been remarkably gentle as together they peeled the torn and bloodied clothing away from her wounded flesh. He, too, had been bloodied - and with a blade from which it would take time to heal - but the pain of his wound was nothing compared to the agony in his heart at seeing her hurt. He was only happy he hadn't lost her. "It's my fault, Ayden. I shouldn't have marked you. It was reckless and foolish on my part." He wished in that moment that he knew something of healing, but he was a warrior. The healing arts had never interested him much, until now. "Do you wish me to go?" he asked, not wanting to stay where he was not wanted or needed, though he was starting to care for her more than even he cared to admit.

Odd, how she had been so shy of him just a couple of days before, and yet here and now, she was perfectly content to sit close on the edge of her bed with him, virtually topless but for her bra, which wasn't exactly the most modest piece of clothing she could wish for. "None of this is your fault," she told him sternly. "If you hadn't been there, we'd all be dead. Seriously, a few cuts and bruises is worth it for what we managed to do today, and we couldn't have done it without you." She glanced at his wound with a frown. "Remind me when we're done with me to take a look at that for you." Pressing a fresh towel to her bleeding arm, she met his gaze as he offered to leave, sincere and certain in her reply. "Stay. Please. I-I feel safe with you around."

He waved off her concern over him with a shrug. "It's nothing. I'm fine." He'd had far worse, and in all truth, he was happy to offer up his own blood in sacrifice, so long as she was safe. "It was a trap, Ayden. They knew I marked you, and they set a trap to kill you," he pointed out, insisting her wounds were his fault, despite the fact that they had actually succeeded. He frowned at her, knowing who it was she would call on for help. Apollo was most likely busy watching over Dean and Nimue. He hoped they had succeeded in their quest, as well, but for now, all his thoughts and concerns were for Ayden. "You will call on the angel then."

"And they failed," she pointed out with a rueful smile. "Quit worrying about what's done. And no getting out of it - I'm a med student, I'll drug you if I have to so I can clean that wound." She paused as he mentioned Gabriel, uncertain whether she was surprised or not that he knew about her archangel guardian. "He's gonna be pissed with me," she warned him quietly. "Try not to take too much offense. He's an *ss, but he tries."

He grunted, reluctantly admitting defeat. "And I'm a God. I'm afraid your drugs won't work on me." He shrugged again, stepping away so that she could call on her angel and he could do what he needed to do without him getting in the way. "He can be... pissed with me," he said, the modern vernacular a little awkward on his tongue, though he was slowly getting used to it.

"He might be," she snorted with laughter, taking a deep breath before raising her voice just a little. "Gabriel. Gabriel, I know you're sulking, but I really could use your help right now." She was startled by the almost instant response, her little dorm room suddenly feeling very crowded as the last remaining archangel on Earth popped into existence, deliberately putting himself between her and the Olympian God of War.

"Ares," Gabriel greeted the other being through gritted teeth, twisting to look over his shoulder at Ayden. "You ditched me for an oiled up poser like this?"

"Ditched?" Ares echoed, swinging a puzzled look at Ayden at all of the unfamiliar slang. He didn't really have to understand the words to know he was being insulted, however, and by a being he thought beneath him. After all, the Olympians had been there first, at least in Ares' mind, but in truth, it was all a matter of perspective. Chicken or the egg, anyone?

"Cast aside," Ayden provided the translation for Ares without thinking, without even realizing she was doing it, leveling a steady gaze on the archangel who was blocking her view of the Olympian in the first place. "And I never ditched you. I told you what we were doing."

Gabriel snorted, rolling his eyes. "After you'd already called this wuss into the mix," he pointed out. "I'd have told you what a dumb*ss idea it is to try and kill a Fate."

"Wuss?" Ares echoed, bristling. He no longer guessed the archangel was insulting him; he knew it for fact. There was no mistaking the tone of the angel's voice. "And you'd have been wrong. But I'm not really surprised to hear that from someone who was too cowardly to stand up to his own brothers. Do you know how Gabriel spent the last two thousand years? Trying to pass himself off as a god. Loki, no less. The Messenger of the Christian God playing tricks on humanity. How very becoming of you, Gabriel."

"Look, macho, I've been down here long enough to know how humans work," Gabriel bristled right back at him, the anger in his voice palpable following the mention of his brothers. "I stood with them against my brothers. Don't give me that crap - you're only here because you want in her panties."

Ayden scowled, reaching out to thump the archangel firmly in the back for that comment. "Less bitching, more healing," she informed him, and despite his obvious irritation,

Gabriel turned to lay his hands on her, the seeping wounds on her neck and arm swept away without evidence that they had ever been there. He looked her over, one brow raised as he took in her lack of attire. "Never stripped your top off for me before, Aydee," he commented. "You're pretty buff for a Winchester."

15
Disposable Heroes / Turn of Fates (AU)
« on: February 10, 2014, 06:41:27 AM »
[size=9]((November 17th, 2012[/size]

It had been a long couple of days for the Winchester siblings. While Ayden continued with her studies, they had been tracking the Hind's Blood dagger, trying to pin it down to a specific location. What they had eventually come up with had been rather encouraging. With the re-emergence of the Olympians, the Fates were no longer hiding their work, moving in plain sight among mortals, and by sheer dumb luck, the youngest of the Fates, Atropos, was in town. Even better, she was the one who bore the dagger, the weapon that could kill Olympians and didn't belong to Death. Thanks to Ayden's vision, the siblings knew better than to approach her outright, and after a few hours of planning and discussion, they had hit upon a plan.

Hope had been tailing Atropos for about an hour, waiting until the sun went down, until the Fate reached a relatively unpopulated area of the town before calling her brother on her cell, maintaining as safe a distance as she dared. "Sam? It's me. This is as good as it's gonna get."

It wasn't so much luck that had brought Atropos to town, but neither Ayden, Sam, or Hope knew that as yet. Ares had put his mark on Ayden, claiming her as his, and while that mark could not be seen or sensed by mortals, it was easily read by those who might wish to cause her harm. Though the mark could be seen as a warning to those who might try to harm her, it was also something of a red flag painting a target on her back to those who might not approve of such an arrangement, both friend and foe alike. As for Ares, the god had not made another appearance since he had returned Ayden home after their second trip to the Amazon.

Sam hadn't been overly thrilled with the idea that Hope tail Atropos, but he hadn't had much choice. Someone had to do it, and it was easier for Hope to blend in than Sam, who was a dead ringer for his father. He'd have been spotted in no time. "Where are you?" he asked his sister from the other end of the phone, gesturing for Ayden to start the car up.

"Corner of West and Main," Hope told her brother, leaning idly back against a wall as she watched Atropos out of the corner of her eye. Something about this didn't feel quite right to her, but she was putting her trust in her brother. He called the shots, in her mind. "She's heading down West away from me, taking her time, reading some big old leather book."

Beside Sam, Ayden started up her beloved car, easing from where they'd parked up into town.

Sam had the phone on speaker so that Ayden could hear every word and so he didn't have to repeat his sister's instructions. Ayden knew her way around town, and he trusted her to find Hope before Atropos discovered their plan. "Don't get too close," he instructed his sister for what was possibly the umpteenth time. "We don't want her suspecting anything." Not to mention that Hope didn't have the Colt or any real means of defending herself against the youngest of the Fates, even if she had to. Sam had the Colt, though Ayden's vision had already foretold that it wouldn't work. "You're sure Ares is on board?" he asked Ayden, also for about the umpteenth time. It was hard to hide the fact that he was tightly wired and anxious, more for Hope and Ayden's safety than his own.

"Oh, I'm keeping my distance, trust me," Hope's disembodied voice assured her brother as the red Impala ghosted through the streets toward her location.

Ayden glanced at Sam, feeling the nerves lighting up her own stomach as they headed for their meeting with Fate. "I'm sure," she promised him. "I've tested the calling for him theory, he's as good as his word. I can call him right now if you want, although I'm not sure he can land in a moving vehicle."

"So long as he's on board. We're counting on him here. I hope he knows that." He hoped to hell Ares knew that, without his help, there was a good chance they weren't going to all survive this little encounter, not if Atropos had a chance to call on her sisters for help. "Stay with me, Hope," he told his sister, not wanting to lose contact with her, until they got there. "We're on our way." He looked back at Ayden, curiously. "Where's Gabriel? We may need his help, too."

"I gotta assume he's around, but he's not exactly at my beck and call, Sammy," Ayden pointed out to her nephew. "He's an archangel. It's not like I can call him and he'll come straight away. He knows what we're doing." She glanced down the street, turning the car carefully to keep from drawing any attention to them as Hope spoke up again.

"So, I assume we have a plan here," the youngest Winchester said calmly, in her element as the only one of them within striking distance at that moment. "One that doesn't involve me slow dancing with the bitch."

"Yeah, we have a plan," Sam agreed, though a loose one. They had tracked Atropos down, but they couldn't predict what she might do once she realized she was being hunted, and they couldn't very well kill her in the street, whether it was nearly nightfall or not. Sam wasn't particularly fond of killing in cold blood, but it was either the Fates or their parents; he didn't have much choice. "We need to get her somewhere alone. Maybe I can get her to follow me," Sam remarked, almost wishing he'd been the one to do the tracking.

"She can move between heartbeats, Sam," Ayden reminded him uncomfortably. "Chances are the second she sees you, she's gonna go for the kill. That's why Hope's the one tailing her." She took another turn. "Okay, we're almost there. There's an alley way about halfway down West. Maybe Ares can lure her in there." She drew the car to a halt, parking in shadow.

"She's taking her time walking," Hope offered via the phone. "I'm gonna have to start walking myself soon if we don't want to lose her."

Sam knew Ayden was right. They'd been over it a thousand times, but that didn't mean he had to like it. "Where's she going?" Sam asked his sister, not only curious but obviously agitated. This whole thing made him nervous and Ayden's dream only made things worse.  He just wanted to get the whole thing over with, and the sooner the better. "If you want Ares to lure her there, you should probably summon him soon." Sam sensed the timing had to be perfect, or they were courting disaster.

"Well, we kinda need to be in the alley first," Ayden pointed out. "Hope, don't get too close, we're almost ready." As Hope offered her assent down the phone line, Ayden got out of the car, gesturing for Sam to follow her as she ducked down a side street, walking with enviable speed for someone who didn't look as though she was accelerating at all. "Sam, this is going to be a very close call," she warned him. "I saw two of them, not just Atropos. We're gonna have to be quick."

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