Author Topic: The Deep Breath  (Read 111 times)

Ayden

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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.
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Ayden

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Re: The Deep Breath
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 05:42:18 PM »
"Darn," she teased him merrily, reaching up to stroke her hand against his cheek. "Be quick, okay? But be careful. We don't know what's going on with Jo and Dean right now, but I refuse to believe that she's dead and gone. Dean won't let her be."

"I'm sure they will find a way," Ares replied. After all, how had Hope been born if Jo had died? But then, he knew that every change they made, however small, in the present affected the future. It stood to reason that if Jo died in the present, there would be no more children for her and Dean in the future. Was that fact proven wrong by their daughter's visit from the future? Ares might be an Olympian, but even he didn't know. It might be another question for Clotho. "I will be as quick as I can," he assured her with a smile he wasn't entirely feeling and a kiss to her lips.

Reassured, Ayden reluctantly released him to go, turning her eyes toward the door to the room where Sam was trying to subdue Becky, and sighed heavily. "This had better be fixable."

"If it is any comfort, I have seen worse," he assured her. After all, he'd been alive a lot longer than her, and he'd seen more than his fair share of troubles. The Greek Myths were full of such stories, though with Clotho's help, this one might actually have a happy ending - at least, as far as Sam and Becky were concerned. "Gabriel?" he called, summoning the archangel who he knew was most likely eavesdropping anyway.

Despite his being more than a little superfluous when it came to protecting Ayden these days, the archangel was never far away. After their hunt for Clotho, he'd even managed to retain a little grudging respect for Ares. As it was, he appeared promptly after being summoned. "So who am I getting, the kid or your wife?" he asked immediately, proving that he had been eavesdropping the whole time.

"Preferably both of them," Ares replied promptly, though Dean had unofficially appointed the archangel to be Ayden's guardian until this whole mess was over, despite the fact that she was with Ares. "Keep them safe while I'm away. I won't be long," he informed the angel, though he probably already knew as much.

"Mind if I talk to the sprog while you're gone? Ay won't mind, we go way back." In spite of the relative truce between them, Gabriel couldn't help poking at Ares to see if he took the bait. After all, as an angel, it wasn't as though he could follow through on any of his suggestions, anyway.

"Not that far back," Ares pointed out, with just a hint of irritation at the angel's arrogance. He left it at that, leaving Ayden to decide how far she'd let the archangel go. "I will return shortly," he assured her again, touching a hand to the swell of her belly, where their child was growing inside her. Though he was only repeating what he'd said half a dozen times already, what he was really doing was telling her he loved her, in not so many words, and not to worry.

"Hey, I asked, didn't I?"

Ignoring Gabriel's mocking response, Ayden rolled her eyes, laying her hand over Ares' at her waist before he left, answering his unspoken promise with her own. Left alone with the archangel, she eyed him for a long moment, watching the way his eyes strayed to her pregnant belly hopefully. "Oh, for God's sake," she sighed, opening her arms and gesturing to her unborn child. "Come on, then."

Thankfully, Ares was gone before Ayden invited the angel to converse with their child or they might have come to blows. He had no trouble finding the last remaining Fate, and though she was no longer in possession of the powers that had made her what she was, she didn't seem terribly surprised by his arrival. It was almost as if she had been expecting he'd need her help at some point.

And despite being mortal now, Clotho had lost none of her poise or confidence. Indeed, being mortal and stripped of her Olympian power had been the best thing to have happened to her. She didn't object to being carried to Greece, and if Ares was concerned with the fact that there was an archangel talking directly to his unborn son, she wasn't. She slapped the back of Gabriel's head.

"My turn," she informed the archangel, nudging him out of the way to smile at Ayden and lay her hand against the swell of her belly. "His was one of the last threads I spun. He is growing well."

Ayden bit her lip to keep from laughing at Gabriel's muttered objections, smiling at Clotho. "Thank you for saving his life."

Ares bristled a little at Gabriel's presumptuous proximity to Ayden and their son, but he said nothing about it as he arrived back with Clotho in tow. He only snorted when she slapped the back of the archangel's head, feeling slightly mollified at her treatment of him. "And what did my son have to say, angel?" Ares asked, with mild interest, though he didn't quite trust Gabriel to tell the truth.

"He said it's cramped and he doesn't approve of the food," Gabriel responded with predictable sarcasm. "What are you feeding her?"

"I am not a horse," Ayden informed the archangel with her own sarcasm.

But before the conversation could turn any further, something shook the ground beneath them and darkened the sky. On the breeze, there was the suggestion of a voice raised in pain and relief, before it was silenced, and the world returned to the way it had been just moments before.

Clotho lowered her head in respect, her eyes closed for a long moment. "Find peace," she murmured to the shade that had passed over them.

Any response Ares might have made to Gabriel's sarcasm was cut off by the passing of that soul, and Ares mirrored the last Fate by lowering his head in grief and respect. Despite everything Hades had done, he had still been his uncle, and he had still been an Olympian, worthy of Ares' respect, even if he didn't agree with his methods. Where Olympians went after death, even Ares didn't know, but he, too, hoped his uncle would find the peace in death that he had not had in his many years of life.

"What was that?" Ayden asked, her eyes bright with fear as she looked around. It hadn't seemed dangerous, but what could cause the entire world to go dark, even for a moment? There was no answer from Gabriel, who let out a grunt of pain and disappeared - not in his usual fashion, but as though he had been plucked out of existence in this time and place and taken elsewhere. "Ares, what's happening?"
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Ayden

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Re: The Deep Breath
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 05:43:10 PM »
"Hades is dead," Ares replied simply and honestly. He did not have to tell her how it had happened. Obviously, her brother had been at least in part successful. Hades was dead, but there was no way yet of knowing if he had been successful in bringing Jo's soul home. There were ways, however, to find out, and a phone call was probably the easiest. "Gabriel has been summoned to Olympus," he informed her further. It seemed the divvying up of the Underworld was about to begin.

Despite all the pain Hades' mere presence had caused her and her family, Ayden felt that loss on her husband's behalf. She took his hand gently between her own, raising it to kiss his palm tenderly. "I'm so sorry, love."

"Perhaps he will find peace," Ares said, hopefully. At the very least, he would be re-united with Persephone and would no longer have the responsibility of the Underworld weighing on his shoulders.

"Perhaps." She drew her arms around him, stroking her cheek against his, wishing there was something she could do to comfort him. But she didn't understand the way the Olympian mind worked, not really. All she could do was be present.

"Speaking of peace ..." Clotho looked toward the door, behind which the sound of ranting and raving and the occasional crash could be heard. "Shall we see what is wrong with your young friend?"

Ares took what comfort he could from Ayden's embrace. He knew Hades' death was not only a possibility but an inevitability. Perhaps it was his friendship with Clotho that had taught him that. The die had been cast long ago, and Hades' fate had been determined as soon as Aphrodite had seen fit to bring Jo and Dean to this world. He touched a kiss to Ayden's forehead and reassured her with a small smile. Whatever grief he was feeling was tempered by the joy he felt to have her by his side. He only hoped Hades would share that joy if and when he was reunited with Persephone. The moment didn't last long, however, as Clotho reminded them why she was there.

"I am afraid if we cannot help her, she will cause herself harm," he told her.

Considering the door for a moment, Clotho began to move toward it. "You say she attempted to kill herself immediately following the attack?" she asked, just to clarify the details. Becky was becoming clearer the closer they got, and those garbled insistences on justice and right sounded even more vehement than before. "Justice ... hmm."

Pulling open the door, Clotho paused on the threshold, taking in the scene. Becky was lying on her back, her feet flailing, with Sam physically sat on top of her, a cushion beneath her head, and his hands pinning hers to the floor.

"Not bad," the last Fate complimented the set-up, moving to crouch beside the couple.

A sedative might have been more effective than Sam literally sitting on top his girlfriend, but Ares was not about to point that out. "Do you think it's the Furies?" Ares asked, no longer bothering to keep his suspicions to himself now that Clotho was here. The others might not understand what that meant, but Clotho certainly would.

"Tormented by madness, an insistence on justice even to the point of taking her own life ..." Clotho laid her hand gently on Becky's forehead, ignoring the stream of invective flowing from the girl. "It is their way, but they don't act without being ordered. She suffered a loss recently, yes?" This question was directed to Sam, close beside her.

"Her father," Sam replied, looking from Clotho to Ares to Ayden in confusion. He knew they were trying to help, but he wasn't quite sure what was going on beyond this room and Becky.

"An Olympian's orders," Ares remarked, reluctant to name the suspect until Clotho confirmed his suspicions.

"Hmm ..." Lowering her eyes to Becky, Clotho took the girl's face in one hand and pried open one of her eyes, peering into the gray depths. What she saw there evidently was enough. "The Furies," she confirmed with a resigned sigh. "They're feeding off her anger and fear, turning it against her. Only one person commands the Furies." She looked up at Ares pointedly. "I thought I told you to get her to stick it where the sun doesn't shine."

Ares' expression darkened as Clotho confirmed his suspicions once and for all. "How am I to do that when she is in my father's favor?" And when he was not. "I am not sure he will believe me, but there are others who will," he added, knowing he had at least a few allies on Olympus these days, after his long absence.

"This girl is all the proof you need," Clotho pointed out. "The presence of the Furies within her, her proximity to the Winchesters, the deed she was driven to ... Not even Zeus could misconstrue such evidence. And with Hades gone, Athena should be unmasked sooner rather than later."

"Athena?" Sam echoed, looking up for a moment in confusion as the two Olympians chatted about the fate of the person he had started to care for more than any other. "What does Athena have to gain from my mother's death?"

"It pisses off Aphrodite," Ayden suggested from the doorway.

Clotho snorted with laughter. "She's right, those two have never seen eye to eye," she agreed, looking up at Ares. "And Athena has always chafed at being subservient to Hera. She believes that she should be our queen, since she was not born of Hera."

"Let's not forget how much she detests me," Ares added, though he did not think it was only her hatred of him that had caused her actions.

"So she'd destroy the mind of an innocent girl?" Sam interjected, his expression more angry than confused. Not to mention murder his mother. "What do we need to do to fix her?"

"They need to be banished from her mind and made to tell Athena's treachery to Zeus," Clotho said thoughtfully. "Artemis could do it, since Athena definitely won't. Hebe or Hestia might be able to, as well. You'll need to take her to Olympus, Ares."

It was a place where Sam could not follow, and he knew it. "Will she be all right?" he asked, hopefully, as he looked back to Becky, his heart heavy with guilt. If they'd never met, none of this would have happened. She'd be happily going to school with no knowledge of any of this. Perhaps her father might even still be alive.
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Ayden

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Re: The Deep Breath
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 05:43:45 PM »
"It cannot hurt. She cannot remain as she is. It is the only way, Sam. I am sorry," Ares replied with a remorseful frown.

Ayden moved closer, touching Sam's shoulder. "We have so many friends up there," she reminded him. "They'll help her, Sam, in any way they can. You just have to let Ares take her." She knew he would be blaming himself, and though there was little she could say to convince him otherwise, she wasn't going to let him wait alone. "You can stay here until she's back, if you'd like. I was gonna call Ellen and find out what's up back there."

Sam nodded his head, though he didn't look very relieved by Ayden's offer. At least, he wouldn't have to go home not knowing what had happened to Becky, though as far as he knew, his mother's life still hung in the balance. He'd been through a lot in his short life, but this was almost proving to be too much for him. It was the feeling of helplessness that was the hardest, and that of guilt. "I'd like to know if Mom is okay," he admitted wearily.

"We'll call her," Ayden promised him. "Now let Becky go, and Ares can take her and Clotho to Olympus and sort this mess out." She gestured for him to come and stand with her, even as Becky continued to thrash in his grasp.

Sam looked back at Becky once again, reluctant to let the others see the tears that were in his eyes. Besides Becky and Jo, all of this might have been hardest on him - having to witness all this without being able to do anything to stop it. "Come back to me, Becky," he said quietly as he touched a kiss to her brow before moving away to stand beside Ayden, his face pale and drawn.

Somehow, that soft entreaty got through to her, past the madness and rage that plagued her mind to the part of Becky that was still sane, screaming inside for some control of herself, and she quieted, lying still as he released her from his grasp.

 As Ayden wrapped an arm about her grown nephew, Clotho nodded to Ares. "Now, while she's quiet."

Ares nodded, his own quiet farewell already said to Ayden. There was little question of his return, but the same could not be said for Becky. He stepped forward, not waiting for the madness to claim Becky again before sweeping her up into his arms. He had waited a long time for justice, and it was now or never.

Clotho laid a hand against his arm, offering a last nod to the two mortals left behind before they were no longer in sight.

Left alone with Sam, Ayden drew in a deep breath. "All right," she said, patting his back. "Call your mom. I'll go and see about lunch."

It was hard sometimes to remember that Ayden was his aunt and not his sister or cousin. In this time, they were nearly the same age, but only because Sam was out of his own place in time and space. He had chosen to remain behind when his sister had returned home, and he had never regretted that decision until now, wondering what would become of him if Becky was lost to him. And what of his mother? Hadn't he and Hope come here to save her? Sometimes it seemed all he'd worked so hard for was coming unraveled, and he often wished his sister was there to help him through it. Even if she was ever born, she would know him as an uncle, not a brother. He had thought all these things through before he'd made his decision to stay, but it had not made it easier for him. He only nodded his head to Ayden's suggestion, presuming his mother was alive to take his call and not still trapped in the Underworld.

"Good," Ayden nodded to him. "The phone is next to the bed. And this is your room while you're here, you and Becky. Take all the time you need, okay?" She squeezed his shoulder, leaning up to kiss his cheek. "I'm here if you need me, for anything."

Sam nodded again, clearly drained by the last few days' events. "Thanks," he replied simply as he started toward the bed and the phone beside it. He wondered if anyone would mind if he closed his eyes for just a few minutes while the Olympians were away, but he wasn't sure he'd be able to relax enough to give himself over to sleep until he knew his mother and Becky were all right.

Ayden watched him for a moment before turning to leave. She felt utterly helpless, more-so than any of the others might. She wasn't a fighter, and she didn't solve problems. She hadn't even finished training to be a doctor. All she could do was be present, and right now, that didn't feel like enough. She just had to hope that Sam got some good news when he made that call.

As far as Sam was concerned, Ayden was more helpful than she could ever know, but he wasn't quite sure how to tell her that, and even if he could, he was just too damned tired. He sat down on the bed and picked up the phone, debating between calling Bobby and Ellen or calling home. If it was bad news, he'd rather hear it from Ellen, but if it was good news ... He decided to dial his parents' house, hoping to hear his mother's voice on the other end when and if his call was answered.

The phone rang only a few times before it was picked up, and for a moment, there was a chaos of sound from the other end - voices talking, the baby crying, and a familiar laugh closer to the receiver. Then the voice he'd been hoping for answered. "Hello?"

"Mom?" Sam inquired, his voice strained with mingled worry and relief. "Oh, thank the gods," he murmured, with a sigh of relief, blinking back tears she couldn't see. "Are you okay? What happened? Where's Dad? Ares said Hades is dead. He took Becky to Olympus to cure her. He think it's the Furies," he told her in a tumble of words.

"Sam?" Just for a moment, the noise behind Jo got louder before she quite obviously shushed them. "Sweetheart, I'm fine. I'm all back to normal. Your dad came and got me, with a little help from Artemis, and, uh ... Well, long story short, Hades is dead. He doesn't take having his toys taken away very well." The sound behind her deadened further as she moved into another room to talk to her son. "The Furies? But why would they go after her? She's never killed anyone."

"I don't know. Ares brought Clotho here, and she said something about Athena. Athena controls them. She used Becky's grief about her father against her, I think. She's been ranting and raving about it being your fault, but I know Becky, and I know that's not her. After she ... she killed you, she tried to kill herself. Mom, she's gonna feel horrible about all this, but it wasn't her fault. You know that, right?"
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Ayden

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Re: The Deep Breath
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2016, 05:44:16 PM »
"I know, baby," Jo promised him, her voice filled with the confidence that it definitely wasn't Becky's fault. "None of this is her fault. None of this is your fault. It's all Hades, and Hades is gone. If Athena was working with him, then it's good to know that now. Ares can make sure that Olympus deals with her." There was a brief pause. "I want to know how you are. And don't lie to me, I can still ground you."

He chuckled for the first time in days, and though he sounded tired, it was a happy sound. "I'm a little old for grounding, Mom," he pointed out, especially considering the fact that she wasn't all that much older than him, if time was measured in years. "I'm okay. Just tired and worried. I'll feel a lot better when Ares gets back, and I find out what's going on with Becky." He'd feel better after a decent meal and a good night's sleep, too, but that kind of went without staying. He said nothing of fault, knowing she'd tell him that, whether it truly was his fault or not.

"Well, you can stop worrying about us," she assured him. "We're fine here. Apollo took the body away, and there's no sign of anyone else. Just you worry about Becky, okay? And make sure she feels loved when she gets back to you. I don't care what she thinks, or how she blames herself, what happened is as much my fault as it is hers."

"How's it your fault?" he asked, not really understanding how she figured that. He knew it wasn't Becky's fault, either. If anyone was to blame, it belonged to Hades and Athena and the Furies.

"I'm a hunter, Sam," his mother reminded him gently. "I've been a hunter for a very long time. I let my guard down, and I didn't react the way I should have when I saw her holding that knife. If I'd reacted properly, she never would have gotten close. Everything your father just went through, everything you went through worrying over me ... it all could have been avoided if I'd just done what I should have done and defended myself."

"But then it might have been Becky who was hurt." How did the saying go? All's well that ends well? But it wasn't all over quite yet. "So, what happens now that Hades is dead?" he asked. He knew how things had gone in his own time, but that didn't mean they'd happen the same here.

"I wouldn't hurt her, not if I could help it." His question, however, made her sigh thoughtfully. "To be honest, kiddo, I have no idea. We got a few months of peace after Persephone died, but this time around, there's a power vacuum. It all depends on what they decide to do on their little white cloud, and if they decide to screw with humanity again, we're going to be up against them again."

"Dad won't let that happen," Sam said, though he wasn't sure what leverage his father could possibly use against Olympians. Maybe if he still had Death's Scythe in his possession, but that wouldn't last long. He knew his father was tired of the powergames and conflicts with humanity stuck in the middle.

"We won't let that happen," Jo corrected him, but her smile was audible. "We're a team, all of us, even the Olympians who choose it. No one stands alone, and no one gets left out to dry."

"How's Dad doing?" Sam asked, now that they'd broached the subject of his father. He knew his father well enough to know he'd probably been frantic with worry about Jo, not to mention livid. Of all his family members, he was most worried about his father's reaction to Becky the next time he saw her.

"You know your father," she drawled, but the comedy in her tone belied her own concern about Dean. "He's confused - angry, mostly, but he pitied Hades at the end, and he's worried about the fact that Apollo called him Godslayer. We're all just waiting for the other shoe to drop, but he's on edge. He won't ever relax fully, but until we know everything is balanced out again, it's going to be tense.." She smiled faintly even as she spoke. "He knows your Becky is blameless, Sam. He's more angry that someone decided to use her than anything. You know what he's like. He hates it when innocent people get caught in the crossfire."

"Yeah, I know," Sam admitted quietly, he frown heard in his voice. "I just ... I think I love her, Mom. I want her to be part of the family, and I don't want things to be awkward. I know she's gonna blame herself, and I'm not sure what to do to make it better, you know?" he asked, sounding worried.

"Becky is a part of our family, Sam," Jo insisted to him, and he heard agreement from behind her. "All you need to do is love her, and make sure she knows it. Make sure she knows that no one blames her for what's happened, and try not to take blame for it on yourself, either. And as soon as you get home, you bring her round to visit us. Family sticks together, and she's one of us now."

Though he knew all that already, Sam was relieved to hear his mother say it. There was something else, though - something Ayden had said. "I'm not sure we should come back just yet. Ayden said we're welcome to stay and ... It's peaceful here, Mom. I think maybe Becky should rest a while before we come home." To say nothing about himself, though he could use a bit of rest, too. And he felt safe here, though he didn't want to tell her that either.

"Good." Perhaps it was surprising to hear Jo say that, but they had shared a lot over the past year. She knew a little of his upbringing with Ayden and Ares, and how safe he'd always felt in Greece. She had a feeling he needed some of that safety right now, and Becky would heal faster somewhere away from reminders of her loss and torment. "You stay as long as you need to, we'll let her sister and her grandfather know. And Sam ... Do you want us to find you someplace else to live? If it really is the Furies that were in her head, she had a lot of nightmares in that apartment. We could move both of you into a new place before you get back here, away from those memories."

Sam was relieved to hear his mother agreed with him, though it didn't really surprise him. He'd always been close to his mother in his own time, and it came as no surprise that they'd become close in this time, as well as his own. "That's probably a good idea, but it's gonna be up to Becky what she wants to do now." He hadn't said anything about what he wanted, only what Becky wanted. He knew it was probably a little too soon to talk marriage, but he had hopes for the future.
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Ayden

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Re: The Deep Breath
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 05:46:02 PM »
"She's been wanting to see Greece for years," Jo reminded him. "Maybe you should show her around a little while you're there. Get used to each other again. She's been gone a long time."

"Are you sure?" he asked, knowing that might mean they'd be gone a bit longer than his parents might like but then, he was a grown adult, not a child who needed babysitting, unlike his younger self, who had become affectionately known as Bertie.

"I'm sure," she insisted. "Leave your dad to me. Just stay in touch, all right? Don't leave us hanging, or we'll come find you." And knowing his family, they'd come in force, just in case there was a need to fight.

"Okay," he replied, knowing she'd make good on her threat. He was more concerned about what his father would think than anyone else, and there was a fear of being forgotten. "Mom? I'm glad you're okay," he said, though that was probably the understatement of the year.

"You and me both, kid," she chuckled, and in that familiar laugh was her hug, albeit from thousands of miles away. "Just let Ayden look after you. She's pretty good at being right there when you need her, and I think you both need each other while you're waiting."

"Yeah, I know. I'm glad she's here. I kind of miss Hope," he admitted, that last bit slipping out by accident. He hadn't meant to say it, but somehow his mother had a way of helping him open up and get to the heart of the matter.

"Oh, sweetie, of course you do," his mother said gently. "And I know it won't be the same when she gets here. But you have me, and you have Ayden, and you have Becky. You know, the mother, the mother, and the librarian ... new version, whaddya think?"

Sam chuckled despite his own worries and weariness. Somehow, he knew his mother had been through far worse than he had, or so he thought. "I think I'm glad you're back. I don't know what I'd do without you, Mom." And that was the truth. He had traveled through time to find her, and save both her and his father from death. She was in good part why he had decided to stay.

Her smile was audible as she answered. "Well, you're stuck with me now, kiddo, whether you like it or not," she assured him. "Have something to eat, get some rest. You got a girl who's going to need you when she comes home."

"Will do," he promised her, sensing this conversation was quickly reaching an end. He'd heard Bobby and Ellen and his father's voices in the background and was assured she was safe and well. "Try not to let Dad smother you," he teased, a smile heard in his voice, knowing his father as well as she did.

"Honey, if he tries, I'll give him a heart attack by going shopping unarmed," she threatened cheerfully, wishing he was there with her just for a moment so she could give him a hug. Sam was special to her, not just because he was a son from another timeline but because he seemed to need her in a way no one else did. She didn't like to think of him suffering in silence. "I've got to go, but I'll call later to see how things are, okay?"

"Okay. Love you, Mom," he told her, needing to say it, even if she knew it already. Theirs was a special bond between mother and son, though she had not raised him in this time, or maybe because of it.

"Love you too, little man," she promised him softly. "Be safe." There was a click as she put the phone down, her first move no doubt to make sure everyone in the room at her end knew what was going on in Greece.

There wasn't really anything little about him anymore, but he chuckled a little to hear her say it, feeling more relieved than he had in days. Hopefully, the Olympians would be successful in dispelling the Furies from Becky's mind, and all would be well with the world for a while. There was nothing to do now, but obey his mother. He needed to eat, and he needed to rest. Becky's fate was in the hands of the Olympians.

[size=9]((Mount Olympus, here we come!))[/size]
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