Sam pulled a lighter from another pocket in his jacket and flicked it on before holding it close to the blade to do his best to sterilize it. Thankfully, Hope carried a first aid kit in her jacket, but first things first, and he only needed a little blood. Once he was satisfied with the knife, he shoved the lighter back in his pocket and looked to Ayden. "Ready?" Obviously, she was or she wouldn't have said so, but he had to be sure.
"As I'll ever be." Ayden clenched her fist and deliberately looked away, forcing back memories of being tied down as she bled out. Her father had saved her then; her brother's children were not going to let the same thing happen again.
Hope caught her other hand, linking their fingers, holding the older woman's gaze. She didn't know all the details, but the youngest Winchester in the room knew enough to understand how hard it was for Ayden to give up her blood willingly.
Sam knew it was a lot to ask, considering all his aunt had been through already, but he also had a feeling that without her blood, there was a good chance Ares wouldn't make an appearance, and they desperately needed his help. To his credit, he was quick with the cut, and he didn't go too deep, only deep enough to draw enough blood for him to draw the sigil that was needed to summon the God of War.
Ayden didn't even hiss as Sam cut into her arm, somehow managing to detach her brain, reciting in her mind the various methods of pain relief she'd been studying thus far this semester as she held Hope's gaze. To their credit, the young Winchesters were good and prepared for this sort of thing. As soon as Sam was done with his artwork, Hope was already opening up a small packet from inside her jacket, pressing a pad over the little wound and wrapping a bandage tight about Ayden's arm to stem the flow of blood.
The older woman let out a shaken breath, only looking when the bandage was in place. "That's the hard part, right?" she offered in an attempt to make less of her discomfort, squeezing Hope's hand in gratitude as she looked to Sam.
Sam didn't want to lie, so he made no reply. In his opinion, this was actually the easy part. Convincing Ares that he should help them was the hard part. He only hoped he and Hope were right in their assumption that the Ares of this time period would feel some kind of connection to Ayden. He finished drawing the sigil, glancing over with a nod to Hope to indicate that he was ready to finish the spell, which either would or wouldn't summon the Greek God of War.
By the look in Ayden's eyes, she knew the hard part was yet to come, hugging her bandaged arm with the other as she stepped back to let the siblings complete the ritual summoning. Hope nodded back to her brother, as ready as she was going to get, hating that she was essentially just background for the next few minutes. But whatever happened, no harm was going to come to Ayden, that was paramount. Because without her, their future was going to look even more bleak.
The incantation that would hopefully summon the god wasn't said in the ritual Latin that was used when summoning a demon or the Enochian that might summon an angel. This spell was said in ancient Greek and had been taught to him by the woman standing before them in a future she had not yet lived yet. The words had once been clumsy on Sam's tongue, but years of practice had made him fluent in Greek, and the summoning tumbled off his tongue with perfect precision and pronunciation. It was more a prayer than a summons really; a request, rather than a demand. One did not make demands of the Olympians if one did not wish to be cursed.
And then came the waiting. It was a request, and as such, no one expected the recipient of that prayer to drop everything and come straight away. But the waiting was the worst part, in Hope's opinion. She paced, a little like a caged animal, fully aware of Ayden's eyes on her as she did so, resisting the urge to add her own summons.
Ayden, however, didn't have any such reservations. After a couple of minutes, she let out a huff of impatience. "C'mon, you son of a bitch, stop playing hide and seek and get down here."
That seemed to get something of a response as a crackle of lightning came out of nowhere to split the night sky with a rumble of thunder so loud it shook the building. "You don't want to piss him off, Ayden," Sam reminded her, encouraged that they'd at least gotten his attention. "Say something else. Something not so insulting."
"The last thing we want is for me to come off as weak," she pointed out quietly. "He's gotta have some respect for suicidal courage, at least. Don't you?" She addressed the ceiling for lack of anywhere else to aim her voice. "We know you're watching. I, uh, I've got something for you. Battle against the odds, kind of thing. You interested?"
As it happened, battle seemed to be the key word when summoning a god who valued courage above all things. There was another crackle of lightning, quieter this time and, as if out of nowhere, there appeared a man with blond hair and chiseled good looks. He was wearing a black t-shirt and olive green pants and looking not at all like what they might have expected - or at least, not what Ayden might have expected. "You have my attention, mortals. Speak quickly before you regret it."
Of course, Sam and Hope knew exactly what to expect. Ayden, not so much. It was a little difficult to hide an instant attraction - Ares was hot. So she didn't try. A lopsided smile curved her lips as she looked him over, hugging her arms tighter about herself for a moment. "Wow," she complimented him." Not what I was expecting." Her nephew and niece earned themselves a glare over her shoulder for not warning her that the God of War was edible, but she rearranged her expression to something less hostile as she met the Olympian's gaze. "You know who I am?"
"I know who you are," the God of War confirmed, looking her over, somewhat like one might a meal they found rather tempting or a person they found attractive. For the most part, he seemed to be ignoring the pair of Winchesters, though he knew who they were, as well, and was aware of their presence in a time that was not their own. "Explain why you've summoned me here."
"Then you know what side I'm on," Ayden said calmly, feeling a little like a deer caught in headlights as the God of War looked her over, exactly as she had looked over him. She held his gaze for a long moment, hoping there was actual steel in her eyes rather than the urge to flirt which was rising. You have a boyfriend. Remember that. Not that Cole was a real boyfriend, exactly ... Shut up. She took a step forward, daring to close a little of the distance. "Hades is in league with the Fates. We thought you might like to take a crack at them with us."
And she also knew that she and the God before her would be lovers at some point in the future, though she didn't yet know how that would come to pass. "And why should I care what Hades does?" the blond god queried, standing his ground. He was already admiring her bravery, though from the look on his face it was hard to say what he was thinking. It wasn't so much that he was questioning what she was telling him as he wanted to know why she thought he might be interested in taking sides.
This was it. She hadn't expected crunch time to arrive quite so soon in the conversation, but better sooner rather than later. They needed to know if Ares could be counted on, and if she was their ace in the hole, then Ayden just had to bite the bullet. "Because Hades wants my brother dead. He wants my brother's wife dead. And to do that, he's making a deal with the Fates that will kill off everyone I love." The vision that had woken her swam through her mind once again, and her throat tightened, but she forced herself to keep speaking, however close to tears she might be. "And we don't have the edge we need right now. If we go up against the Fates, we're dead. Everyone in front of you right now will die." And here was the card she'd been hoping not to have to play. "They'll slit my throat. And you and I ... we won't know what might have been."
It was a good thing she didn't weep. He valued courage, not weakness. Though tears were generally considered a sign of weakness, he was wise enough to know that even the strongest and bravest sometimes shed tears. He seemed to consider her words a moment, perhaps more seriously than anyone might have expected. It was then he seemed to realize or at least acknowledge that they weren't alone, but instead of sending the other pair away, he only turned back to the young woman in front of him. "We must talk," he told her simply, and without another word, he disappeared, and Ayden disappeared along with him.
[size=9]((Well, that's one way to get a god's attention! More to come - we're actually focused on at least getting these two hunts done and dusted this time! Huge thanks to my awesome partner!))[/size]