Aether watched his young child, both apparently disgusted and yet intrigued. The little one’s skin held a light purple tint, his eyes a purely startling blue. He sat on the grass, his small brown toga barely fitting across his chest.
"He’s very…scrawny,” Aether confessed to Ge, most formally known as Gaea, the simple mother who continued her folding and changing of the earth, smiled softly.
"He will grow, dear."
"He must grow faster."
The Earth Goddess laughed, the sound of a fresh breeze lifting from the ocean below. “Darling, you must allow him the time,” her eyes glimmered, a dirt brown. “Rome will not be built in a single day.”
He found it nearly impossible to not smile at his wife, the two of them the first of the beings created from Darkness.
Tartarus released a shrill cry, throwing his small play piece - Aether couldn’t recall now what it had been - small red tears escaping, throwing out his arms, banging a single left foot on the ground.
"What happened?" Aether bellowed, reaching for a tree. His anger seethed, and he intended to kill whatever it had been to hurt his child.
"Don’t even consider that, Aether." Ge’s voice was tight, yet still light as the Summer’s day. She picked up Tartarus, caressed him, pressed her lips softly to his temper. "The child hungers," she explained.
Aether’s anger slowly dissapated through his fingers, fist uncurling. “Oh,” the only word he spake.
Ge began to nurse the child, and Aether, momentarily embarrassed, turned his cheek, walking towards their humble abode, Ge in tow.
Later that evening, as Tartarus lay to rest, stuck in a window where they shadows passed and light rarely shined, Ge kissed her son, but as she pulled away, she found it hard to muster a breath.
"No," she stuttered. "Please! Oh, Lord Ouranos, it cannot be!"
"What is it, my love?"
Ge’s teeth chattered. She ruffled her leaf striken hair. Stood poised. Swallowed the poison creeping up her neck. “Nothing, my husband,” she thought on her feet. “Thought I saw something in the shadows. Something more powerful that I.”
"There is none more powerful that you, my love."
"Yes," her eyes glimmered with the vision she’d been granted, a most horrid vision indeed. Her green fingers gripped the crib of her child, the forest colors turning a sickly lime.
a Child too precious to be evil
with a name of darkness’s seal
all hail Lord Tartarus
the breaker of the deal
A tear the size of dew dripped from her eye, landing on the softest flower lining her arms.
It withered in an instant.
"Good night, Aether." Ge fell to the ground, sinking in, her last view the crib and her husband high above her, on the woodpost bed.
"Good night, Gaea. Long power."
"All hail Lord Tartarus."
She closed her eyes.
You should have told them you were leaving.
Of course, you were never one for dramatics.
And now, in this cold dark room, strapped in on the ceiling, hanging by your wrists, you can only hope they forgive you. Your brother. Your husband.
You haven’t seen light in days, and you wonder if they’ve even noticed you’re gone. That’s absurd, of course - you can still hear that last beep of the communicator flying from your hands, skittering across the cement floor, a crying out of “Captain, Captain,” your brother’s voice shockingly high and incredibly painful.
Pain. That is the source of their power. You cringe at the thought of all that has occurred, glancing to your arms. It’s very dim in the grey dust of the cavern, but you’ve grown used to the low lighting, finding the only thing darker the closing of your eyelids. You can see the scars, soft, new, some red and some still dripping with blood.
Speaking of dripping. Your nose runs and you cling desperately for your will to get a tissue. It is the only will you have.
It’s the only will you want.
First, it was your brother that kept you going. Those first few days, alone in darkness, you recounted every memory of you two’s misadventures, from hide and go seek to the last incident yester -
No. Not yesterday. Two days ago? A week? A month?
Had you been here a year?
You find your memory fading, and your stomach roars. You cannot remember the last time you ate, nor the last time you slept. You smirk to yourself - it is a little hard to sleep hanging from your shoulder blades - but there is no life in the smirk, and soon your lips drop it, preferring to use neither muscle to smile up or muscle to frown down. Your lips are a straight line, a bruised line, and each time you move the black eye you possess wraps its arms around you and squeezes until the breath is gone.
That is what the torment feels like, being breathless. And though you know you can breath, and your chest rises, and your heart beats normally, the air is still racing, still running, beckoning you on.
"Catch me if you can!" your brother’s young voice calling behind you. He grabs at your shirt tail, bellowing in anger, chasing you around the tree. You turn back and stick your tongue out - and go flying over your bicycle.
It takes all of three seconds for you to start crying, holding your knee. He runs and stands over you, fist balled, gripping your collar, ready to strike - and then, he eases. Mom’s gone to the store, Dad’s off at work, the Captain of a great ship. Your heart soars to be like him one day.
"Lemme see," he whispers softly, bending down on one knee.
"Ah-are you pro-proposing?" you ask shakily, trying to smile, tears still hot and coursing, knee throbbing and dripping with blood.
He sneers and rolls his eyes, a hand on his chest. “Shut up.”
"Ooooooh," you wiggle your eyebrows. "I’m tellin’ on you."
His face goes pale as he holds your knee, placing his own shirt tail over it to plug up some of the bleeding. “No.” His head shakes fast and now you’re laughing, smiling, singing at the top of your lungs, “I’M TELLIN’ I’M TELLIN’!”
"You - you can’t!" He’s on the ground now, too, trying hard to keep you from running inside, his hand on your shoulder. "P-please!"
You bite your tongue. “Hehe. You said please."
He stammers. “I - I most certainly did not. Asking please is ill’wogi - ” his hands fly to his mouth. You laugh so hard you snort, the knee long forgotten, curled on the ground, laughing ‘til tears are shrouding your face and you can’t breathe.
"I hate you!" he screams, beating the tar out of your arm before marching away.
You’re still laughing.
He stabs you.
Right in the gut, he stabs you with the point of his spear. “Aye! Yuioud kjshah!” Stop snorting.
Your head swims. “Wha - ” you’re shocked at the hoarseness of your own voice. How long has it been since you talked? Since they let you?
He butts you again, this time with no spear point, and blood is leaking through your shirt as you try to stay upright. They’d stripped you down to your tank top, spaghetti strapped, white, a gift from your brother on your last birthday. The blood is a bitter stain, and you think, Well, so much for that. Better get crimson next time.
“Vasha!” Torment! he barks this loud, and suddenly you feel five years old, cradling your knee, begging for your mom.
"No," you croak. "Please - "
Then the world explodes.
You don’t see the federation vessels.
You don’t see the red shirts underneath.
You don’t see your husband and your brother, struggling to get prepared for your arrival on board.
You don’t feel the hands that wrap around you.
You don’t see the fingers that pick the locks.
You don’t recognize movement until the real pain, the real shock of all that’s happened, crashes on you at once.
You don’t realize you’re crying until they bring you outside, and the cool wind rips across your cheeks.
You don’t remember the stars until they twinkle high above.
You don’t understand breathing until the air is fresh in your lungs, no longer corroded with sulfur and toxic fumes.
You don’t feel your particles dismantling and re-mantling in the Enterprise’s stronghold, until you see your brother, standing there, eyes wide and full of fear, a shocking look for him.
You smile. You don’t remember smiling, but it’s nice to have it back, and you think, before you fall, Emotion looks good on you.
Your husband drags you towards a gurney. The lights flicker high above. Someone - him, or him? - squeezes your shoulder, your hand. “Please,” they whisper, you know that voice, and you want to call out but there’s no strength left inside you.
I love you, you think, just as you had that day on the swings, when he’d looked at you with the strangest of looks and muttered,
I love you, too.
Then you’re in med-bay. You smell the familiar scent of handsanitizer and - oh, what’s that - death.
"You’re not gonna die on me," he says.
You smirk. Of course I’m not.
But you’re not sure you believe him.
They’re both mad.
You have a long argument, but God, do you miss work.
You long for your chair.
"Please?" you beg again.
A firm shake of the head. “You need rest.” he kisses you on the forehead, rubs his thumb over your knuckles. “But just think, in a couple of days - maybe a week, at the latest - you can come back to quarters.” Your husband’s eyes are milky brown, the kind you want to drink, and suddenly you feel like gagging.
"Your eyes remind me of chocolate milk," you say.
Then you pretend to be asleep.
He’s gone. You stand and hurriedly pull on the spare uniform tucked in the corner (you keep one in almost every room; a precautionary habit inherited from your mother), tugging on your boots. Each step sends a shock of pain, and the bruises are still fresh, though they’re turning more and more each day. You limp. You fresh stomach wound yells angrily, but you’ve got the see them.
The door swoowshes open - now you see him, asleep on the chair, and you curse, hurrying forward - crashing into your other him.
"O-oh," you stammer. "I - "
You pause. “Don’t tell him. Please.”
He doesn’t require explanation. Asks for the release. You show him your signature - an exact likeness to that of your husband’s, the Chief Medical officer.
He smiles, but only through his eyes. You hate that Vulcans cannot show their true colors, though you’ve seen his quite often. You stand on your tip-toes and kiss his cheek, embarrassingly small for one of such high ordinance.
"I love you," you tell him, happily skipping and straining to do so. You keep your eyes locked on the stars.
And, somewhere behind you,
"I love you, too."
and the air you’re breathing
isn’t your air at all
and the noises jingle
like keys on a broken chain
and everything feels different
and drastically the same
there’s a tugging in your spirit
and the fire behind your eyes
is no longer present
and you can see
but you see nothing
and you feel nothing
yet feel everything
it is like your soul and the earth,
no longer are you separated
by things like
it’s a train wreck
a car crash
everything you’ve wanted to say
trapped in a bottle
with no way of getting out
the nails on a chalkboard
the screech of a heavy metal band
think it through
recall your time
the memories of today
pssh my blog’s already pop
my blog is regina george
Or rather, Pelius and his good ole fleece.
Pelius quite enjoyed the fleece, warm and cuddly on its branch, the dreamy breeze rubbing the soft rug on his back.
Of course, where would the fleece be without the tree? Thalia’s tree. Pelius had grown quite fond of both items, a small family all to his own. He watched the days drift by solemnly, new half-bloods from around the world entering his domain. He’d growl at them at first - step in front of both fleece and tree in natural order of perfection - but then upon a gentle head scratching right between the horns, he’d cower down and let loose a soft purr.
On a surprisingly sunny day, with very few clouds and a harmonious melody rising from Camp Half-Blood, of dozens of content - finally - campers, and the slow jitters as people whispered about the new couple, Percy and Annabeth.
"I knew it they’d end up together," gossiped a young Aphrodite. "Mom told me."
"Did not!" argued her reasonably attractive brother.
Still, nothing beat his tree. Or the fleece which hung lower this day, extending its arm, begging to be held by its one so dear.
The two walked off, and Pelius figured he’d, too, been told many things from Aphrodite. He knew all he needed for love - and that was to care.
The day grew and passed, wispy morning turned to chilling evening, and the last night of Camp Half-Blood began to fade as the fire warmed the tree, the fleece, and Pelius’ back. A soft breeze picked up, darkness invaded, the sun fading slowly in front and behind him.
The soft giggle of a girl, and then the snort of a young boy, holding her around her waist, dragging her up the hill.
"Percy!" she snorted.
Percy laughed, throwing her down on the opposite side of the tree. Pelius considered roaring at them - a good scorching on the behind would cure any day - but for some reason he held back, wanting to listen, wanting to see; wanting to enjoy these last moments of summer-teenaged drama with his tree, his fleece.
"Do we have to leave?" the girl he now recognized as Annabeth (she snuck him strawberries from time to time) whispered, leaning into Percy’s neck. Pelius turned his head slightly, careening for a better look, and right about this time a strong gust of wind - perhaps from Zeus himself - drew the fleece just far enough down for it to drape across his scales, each firing with pleasure, a hug when he most needed it.
The conch blew in the distance, the fire from the Apollos’ sing along drifting far away.
"The Harpys’ll be out soon."
"I don’t care," she kissed his cheek, still timid, still new, still learning. Which shows that, no matter how much you believe you know about something, you can never know everything about it.
"You sure don’t care about a lot of things."
"Your dumbness has that affect on me," she laid her head on his chest then, he rubbed his fingers along her shoulder blade.
"Ooh, Wise Girl. That hurt."
"It should have, Seaweed Brain."
They kissed and Pelius grinned in the easiest way a dragon could grin, snuggling against his tree, fleece tucked firmly at his side.
They were a small family. They had their ups and downs. Sometimes it was too hot for the fleece’s thickish texture, and sometimes the bark and pollen from the tree itched.
But they were a family. And you never left family.
He imagined Percy and Annabeth felt that way, too.
how I long for you
how long has it been my old friend
since I spent hours looking down at you
and admiring how
nothing stood out straight
yet all was blessed and
how long has it been since
I ran my fingers along your crevices
and learnt your ups and downs
how long has it been
since I could spell out your body by memory?
tell me, my dear
because for some reason
it feels like a lifetime
and I never want to live a life
without knowing you
from top to bottom
for each little nick and scar
for each little crevice and
hole in your dna
God, yes, He has blessed me with
and I promise
I will never
how hard it was to be dead, indeed;
and pretend to be alive
Leo had been saying it for weeks, on everything he did.
"Swiggity swat where’s my hat?"
"Swiggity swrush darn it where’s that brush?"
"Swiggity swawesome, by God I am so awesome."
It’d become so drilled into the minds of Jason and Piper that on a free day, whilst hanging out in the arena, battling dagger-sword, the words just slipped out.
Piper was first, “Swiggity swin five bucks says you won’t win.”
And Jason with a snark smirk, “Swiggity swoying, that’s highly annoying.”
The clash of celestial bronze. The oohs of the growing crowd.
"Swiggity swaid, my guess is you’re afraid."
"Swiggity swif as freaking if."
The hilt of his sword pounded her chest, and she fell, holding to the ground, a bitter sense of anger and defeat crawling through her. Jason, dusting off his hands and tucking the sword under his arm, sauntered over, bending down and offering her a hand.
She didn’t move.
"Aw, c’mon, Pipes." That gorgeously stupid smile with that beautiful stupid scar to match that perfectly stupid blond hair, she thought. Slowly she took his hand, tightening her fingers with the other.
Their cheeks were seconds apart.
"Hey Jason," Piper whispered, charmspeak full force.
"Swiggity swagger," she held his head close, raising the other hand, "here comes my dagger."
A shrill (but manly) screech. Stumbling back. And a blade swinging just in time to meet her thrust.
Piper smirked, licked her lips, still bent over him, elbows pinned with her knees.
"Swiggity swace, best pay up Jason Grace."
He reached into his pocket - “I’m not sure I have a five but - “
She rolled her eyes. Threw down her dagger. Fingered his sword until it dropped. Snatched his collar and brought him close. “Swiggity swiss me, shut up and kiss me.”
A small smile. “That’s a dare I’d take any day.”
Reyna looked up, and her heart fluttered, skipped a couple of beats. She knew her brain was melting, but her face remained steady. “Oh, Jason. Hello.”
Jason paused, leaned against the railing beside her, stared across the valley of New Rome, still in the process of being rebuilt.
"It’s good to be home?" he tried. She smiled softly, though to Jason it appeared to be the simple quiver of her cheeks. His face fell and he nibbled his inner cheek.
"I have missed you, Jason Grace," she replied. Leaned on him, his shoulder, wrapped her fingers around his bicep. He tensed and she released, cheeks ablaze, and coughed. "Forgive me," she spoke hastily.
"No, no, it’s not that. It’s just…" his eyes traced down to the locket in his hand, and he gripped it, thinking of the feather sitting on his night stand. She was so stupid. Why had she… “…it’s too soon,” he finished.
And for once Reyna looked at him, head on, jaws sqaure, and with a sincerness Reyna seldom possessed she whispered, “I understand.” she found herself taking his hands, clasping them with hers, transferring all the regrets she’d ever placed on her shoulders. A longing for their souls to touch again.
"I’m feeling a hot chocolate," that stupid smirk, with that stupid blond hair. She took his hand, walking side by side, swinging their arms by Jason’s decree.
"I couldn’t agree more."
The chocolate’s steam rose into the air, fitfully twisting and turning and yearning to be anywhere but trapped under the lid. It’d grown chilly in the past few months - it was nearly Decemeber - and Reyna shivered, chill bumps growing on her arms.
"Here," he held his jacket out, draped it on her shoulders. She smiled into it.
They walked and talked on meager things, revisited the war, all the way back to when Jason first awoke in that school bus.
"You were always lively," she told him, sipping the drink, her lips tingling. "And cute and humorous. Seldom a day went buy when you didn’t force me to at least crack a smile. I told you I hated it when you made me laugh, but I’ve never loved anything more." She stopped, once again at their point of origin, and they leaned, once again, on the pole. "We used to do this, every winter, it seemed. During routine check-around-towns we’d pick up a couple hot chocolates, maybe an eclair or cinnamon roll, walk around town and do nothing but enjoy the silence while the silence was free, not that it came often. Being praetors and all."
Her eyes grew misty.
I have definitely missed you, Jason Grace.
"Sounds like I’ve changed."
"It’s the natural course," she fingered his hands, one still clamped tight around the locket. "You must understand that I do feel deeply remorseful for her loss, Jason. I’m - " she couldn’t find the words to say.
He gave a side smile, his old scar tugging with the tightness of his features. He had to look away to disguise the tear. “Oh, you know. A charmspeaking girlfriend. That decided everyone around her was more important…who closed those darn doors herself - ” he cracked. Bit his lip. The tear rolled down his cheek and he looked to her, breathing a struggle. “I miss her so much, Reyna. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t call myself an idiot. That I don’t want to end it here and go see her again. She was so freaking stupid - and it’s all my fault for not catching her act.” He breathed hard and not in pattern. She drug him to a chair, and all he did was stare right at her face, yet far from where her face was.
"It’s all my fault." he sunk in the chair.
Precious moments passed, filled with the tears he’d longed to shed, the redness of eyes, and the guilt Reyna felt deep down. Who was she, to make a move on someone who’d lost their lover? Who’d been so deeply enchanted with a girl who never wanted to be enchanting? Who was she?
He grimaced. “Don’t say that - “
"It’s the truth, and I make it my sole duty to speak the truth. Jason, you could not have stopped her if you’d tried. You can’t stop an avalanche, can you? Or calm a raging sea? Piper was more than that - she was the clouds that rolled by, the wind, a force so uncontrollable that it simply cannot be halted. What she did was of her own will, and frankly, Jason, she needs to be honored." She met his eyes, Squeezed his hands. Invisibly told all who were staring to turn away. "It’s what she would have wanted."
A thumb moved a tear from its course. Soft lips pecked a cheek. And two hands threw away the empty containers of hot chocolate.
"I have missed you, Jason Grace. So much to the fact that once you arrived, I grew incredibly ecstaic. But," and his ears perked at her voice, "I don’t want the old you, Jason. I wish not to possess that which was but was is. You are hurt. And broken. We all are in this life. I want to help fix you, and yet you resist helping me. I cannot fix what will not help fix itself."
Clasped his shoulder. Smiled for his amusement. And left.
"Reyna?" he called behind her.
The flip of the stomach. The rise of the anxiety, The tingle in her fingers. “Hmm?”
She turned. “Any time.”
"I see what you did there!" he yelled as she walked off, back towards the arena, towards the cabins, towards home.
"I’d hoped you would."
He was unlike any experiment that she had seen before.
He looked pretty human - human eyes, human head, human face and arms and hair…kind of like a less-tan and significantly less-cool David. Though he claimed he was cool, muttering incoherently about fezzes and bow-ties.
Lilo watched him curiously, Stitch by her side, the human-experiment lurking by a giant blue telephone box, probably from when Nani was a child (because let’s be honest here - Nani was waaaaayy old.)
She glanced at Stitch, dropping the branches of the tree. “What do you think about it?” she whispered.
"Acka pooche?" Stitch shrugged.
Lilo nodded. “We might as well,” and began to step through the hedges.
"Hello!" the experiment popped in her face, and she yelped, falling back. The experiment’s face fell and he hurried along, helping her up. Stitch squatted and growled, sharp, used-to-be-evil teeth glowing. "I’m terribly sorry," he apologized. "I was looking for my fez. Have you seen my fez?"
Lilo’s response was quiet, “You don’t seem very evil.”
"Evil?" he laughed. "No, no! I wouldn’t dare! Now, back to my fez - "
He paused as Stitch sniffed him, and he watched him, curling his eyes over the blue creature. A smile crept on his face. “Is that a…”
He said some odd name Lilo couldn’t pronounce, and she shook her head, scratching some leaves from her head. “That’s Stitch. He’s an experiment,” she turned to him, “like you.”
He laughed again, much louder and fairly more insane. Lilo found herself scotching closer to Stitch.
"An experiment? No, I’m the Doctor!" he clasped his hands together. "I simply must find that fez. Have you seen it nearby?”
"You don’t look like any doctor I’ve ever seen," Lilo said in awe. "I didn’t know doctors wore fezzes."
"Eh," Stitch agreed.
The experiment - now called “the Doctor” - shook his body in a bushel. “I’m not a doctor. I’m the Doctor. Very big difference.”
"So wait," Lilo said, "you’re not an alien?”
The Doctor rose slowly from the bushes, a flower trapped on his finger. He smelled it before tossing it aside. His skin appeared pale. “Why would you guess that?”
"Well it’s just - I saw your space craft. That big blue boxy thing? And I told Stitch that I just knew it was an alien, probably another experiment, and - "
"Don’t talk so much," the Doctor ordered, softly but firmly. "We’ve got to find my fez. And for your information, my dear, I am indeed an alien, but not this experiment thing you keep going on about. I’m a Time Lord."
Lilo’s eyes grew wide and the Doctor grew bored, returning to his search around the blue box, now digging through the sand. “You mean…” she placed a hand on the blue box, POLICE BOX scrawled across the top. Her heart soared with wanting. “You can time travel?”
That got his attention. “Why, yes,” he looked up at the TARDIS, fabulous in its glory, a machine he quite dearly loved. “Anywhere in time and space, past or present, hoping galaxy to galaxy. It’s extraordinary.” she figured from the lofty and lusty look in his eye he was going to continue with something great.
"But my fez," is all he said, and Lilo met Stitch’s eye.
"We should halp," Stitch slurred in his semi-terran, semi-alien tone. Lilo nodded, and the three of them began the search for the fez.
Night was, ironically, dawning, and the sun drifted low over the coast. Worn and defeated the Doctor, Lilo, and Stitch, all run down and fingers raw from sand and sun, rested their elbows on their knees, watching the sun set.
"Well," he started, "that was quite the adventure." Along the day’s journey Lilo had shared story after story, starting with Stitch’s arrival and the day she bought him to the pound, recounting experiment after countless experiment, even pointing a few out along the coastline.
Lilo had to admit it was. During her storytelling, the Doctor, whoever he was and whatever field he studied as a “time lord”, gave his full attention, his eyes intent and believing. Not even Nani, who’d experienced it all alongside her, gave her such a knowing look, a precious look, the look of someone who genuinely cared.
"But, sadly," the Doctor continued on, "it must come to an end." He quietly untucked a small red parchment from his coat, and placed it atop his skull.
Lilo stared, amazed, then equally angry. “You had it the entire time?” she gasped in outrage.
The Doctor smirked. “Of course. You wouldn’t possibly believe I’d lose my fez, would you? Fezzes are cool, of course. Almost cooler than bow ties, not that I said that.”
"But why?" frustrated, tired, and far too past her dinnertime, Lilo slumped in the sand.
The Doctor stood, and with that same intent look and eyes that reached back for generations he took her hand.
"Everyone needs a friend," he said, and she couldn’t help but smile, Stitch holding her free hand, the three walking and swinging as one back to the TARDIS.
The Doctor exchanged a soft goodbye and let go at the TARDIS’s door. Lilo felt the ghost of his print on her palm.
"You never really told me," she said. "What are you?" she scratched at her palm. Still, the ghost remained.
The Doctor paused, and after a split-second’s thinking, he met her eyes. “I’m just a mad man with a blue box.” And with that he stepped in, gave a smile and a small salute and a tilt of his fez.
And just like that the Doctor, and the ghost, dissipated into thin air.
The Craziest and Greatest Experiment - besides Stitch - she’d ever had the pleasure to meet.