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by Holly 25th September 2018, 5:17 pm

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Dog Days of Winter

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Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 16th September 2018, 5:10 pm

Heart hammering against his ribs, Ares cursed creatively in every language he knew as he ran. How he detested his siblings. Why did they enjoy disgracing him? The god's pride had been hit once again forcing him to flee from those that chose to torment him. A growl reverberated in his throat and he took solace that it didn't sound as awful as it could have. Diving down a tunnel, he allowed his nose to do all the work to track down whom he wanted and how to get there. He'd never known before by what route she came and went from Olympus save with her husband or mother.

Eyes lighting up, he hurried until he was in his uncle's domain. Once there though, he paused; second guessing himself. While she was the first person he thought of to help him, he didn't want her to see him this way! It was mortifying! Without his permission a whine escaped his throat. Gah! He hated that too! It wasn't bad enough that his sister had to use her cursed bow to turn him not just a dog, oh no, she had to go the extra mile and make him a puppy! As such, he had no control over himself or his reactions. He'd figured that out when he caught Persephone's scent and had immediately felt a weird sensation in his rear and realized he was wagging his tail!

Maybe he could get Konan to translate for him since he doubted the goddess spoke dog. That was Ares' specialty since they were his animal. That was likely the reason Artemis turned him into a dog, irony and all that. He supposed it was better than turning him into a vulture. With a plan in mind, he made his way to Konan's kennel and sniffed around. The scent was stale. Plopping on his butt, a whine came from his throat again when if he'd been in his godly form he would have scowled. 'Lousy Cerberus. Why did I allow him near that camp again?' Right, because at the time it had been entertaining but had come to backfire on him. Huffing, he lay down with his head on his paws and wondered what he was going to do now. There was no telling how long either Konan would be away for, or how long Artemis would keep him under her spell.

Ears twitching, one raised and swiveled towards the sound. 'I'm in Tartarus,' came the thought as he lifted his head and turned to eye the approaching deity. Panic, depression, humiliation, and defeat, warred with happiness at seeing her. If he could have, he would have scowled because he could feel it. His stupid tail was wagging.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 16th September 2018, 5:54 pm

Being a deity entailed many things, one of which was boredom.  When you lived for eons, watching the world below change while you stayed the same, most amusements grew stale very quickly.  It didn't help that several weeks had passed since the meeting on Olympus and she'd been alone nearly the entire time.  Her husband was off doing whatever he did, and Konan was conspicuously absent.  She'd tried reading, attempting to learn the lyre, archery, and on one occasion, drinking to entertain herself.  Nothing amused her for long, so she fell back on her old favourite - walking.  She had set out from the palace, walked past the Judgement Pavilion and around the edge of Elysium before turning back and heading towards the main gate.  She had very nearly reached Konan's kennel when it dawned on her that something felt off.  There was someone - or something - nearby.  Whoever they were, they felt both familiar and unfamiliar at once.  

Curious.

Rounding the bend, she was stunned to find that her instinct had been off.  It wasn't a 'what' so much as a 'who,' but she hadn't expected the 'who' to be a gorgeous Doberman puppy. He was lovely, all glossy black and russet fur with intelligent dark eyes and a rapidly wagging docked tail.  She couldn't imagine how he'd gotten here - entering the Underworld was difficult, even for deities.  She supposed he must have found a tunnel, or perhaps he'd slipped through an open doorway when no one was looking.   She wasn't sure how she knew he was, well, a 'he' right away either, but neither thought did much to curb her enthusiasm. She wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to make a new canine friend.

"Hello handsome," she crooned, smiling wide as she gathered her skirts and crouched down to offer him her hand.  He made no move to sniff it, though the two brown patches above his eyes did move as though he was arching an eyebrow.  

Friendly enough, but still shy, she thought to herself with a soft laugh.  She could understand being wary - meeting strangers in an unfamiliar place was sufficient reason for caution.  

"Now how did you get here? The Underworld is no place for puppies," she mused, studying the dog.  He wasn't a shade, that much was obvious, but he also couldn't be mortal.  Could he be a Cerberus cousin?  "Were you looking for Konan?"  

She didn't know why she was asking a puppy questions that he couldn't answer, but given the way that his dark eyes fixed on her, she suspected that he could understand her just fine.

"Come with me." She rose and smoothed her skirts before patting her thigh.  "Let's see if we can't find you somewhere nicer to wait, hm?"
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 16th September 2018, 6:24 pm

Oh, this was humiliating! At least she didn't know it was him otherwise he didn't think he could stand it. There was no way he was going to come to sniff her. He already knew what she smelled like and he subconsciously noted how much more astute his senses were as a dog. She smelled even better! And her laugh, he'd never really heard her laugh like that had he? It caused his treacherous tail to moving. He had missed the sound of her voice having to deal with the others, but he wasn't about to let her know that. While he wasn't going to pretend to be a regular mortal dog, he wasn't about to try and clue her in just yet who he was. Besides, without Konan, he'd have no translator. So, he could just accept it and enjoy Persephone's obliviousness about him.

Sitting up when she stood, he would have laughed if he could have when she'd patted her thigh and called him to come. As it was, his tongue lolled out in a doggie version of laughter.

"Let's see if we can't find you somewhere nicer to wait, hm?"

Ares stood and padded slowly over towards her. It was strange. He was so used to looking down when they were close. Now, he had to look up, way up! That wasn't fair! And it was beyond infuriating that he couldn't control his own body! He'd spent centuries cultivating and perfecting his control, only to have it all swept away with one prick of an arrow! Artemis would laugh if she could see him now. To add insult to injury, he was like an animal. Ares had tried to use his powers to transform back to himself, to conjure a bolt of lightning or a ball of flames to roast his sister, but nothing had happened. He couldn't even open a portal!

Trotting after the goddess, he kept finding himself distracted. There were too many new smells, sounds, and tastes! When he'd 'laughed' at her and his mouth had opened, gah! He'd resolved to keep his mouth shut. It was too much. By the same token, he didn't think he'd ever forget what Persephone's complete scent was like. It was now burned into his brain and senses. While his vision as a god was better than a mortals' it was strange to see things from a dogs' vantage and with mush less color. Yet, the absence of color seemed to compensate for the sharper vision.

Ares dodged the hands when she tried to pick him up. A mischievousness welled up and he heeded its call. Darting around the goddess he mock growled before darting away and doing it all over again all the while heading closer and closer to the palace as they 'played'.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 16th September 2018, 7:51 pm

She'd worried that he wasn't going to follow her when she went to walk away, but he sat up as she stood, and seemed content to trot along with her, his tongue lolling out in a canine grin. She grinned and set off towards the palace.

She'd never had a pet as a child. Her mother had firmly discouraged her from bringing anything into the house, lest her new companion track in dirt and dust. She hadn't been able to bring anything to Olympus or the Underworld either, for obvious reasons. Yes, there had been cats and wild dogs that kept the rodent populations down in the fields, but she'd never really played with or even pet an animal.

Despite his initial shyness, her canine companion seemed to find his nerve quickly. When she stooped to pick him up, intending to carry him, he dodged aside and began to dart around her. At first, she worried that his growl was one of aggression, but when he bowed down with his front paws extended and his tail wagging, she realized he was only playing. She laughed, shaking her head at his rambunctiousness.

"Oh, how fierce!" She giggled, bending to knot her skirts so that she could chase him up the path. He was surprisingly attentive, never running too far from her, and she marvelled at his intelligence. Konan was smart, but she'd never met a creature that had had enough awareness to play in the most real sense; not fetch, or doing tricks for treats, but playing a game that seemed a lot like tag. She liked this little pup, she decided, wondering if her husband might consent to let her keep him. The palace would seem much less empty and forbidding if her new friend was with her.

"Such a ferocious little puppy," she cooed, smiling wide as they rounded a bend and the grey walls of the palace came into view. It was the most fun she'd had in weeks, and it felt delicious to laugh again. "I'm lucky I found you, little friend."

Did he have a name? She wondered as she followed the dog up the path to the palace doors. She could hardly keep calling him 'little friend' or 'puppy' if she was going to keep him.

"What should I call you? Do you have a name?" She was asking the puppy questions again, but she felt like she should. He understood her, so it seemed a little rude not to ask for his opinion. He was dignified and clever, and his name ought to reflect that. Smiling, she asked, "how do you feel about Rex?"


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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 16th September 2018, 8:22 pm

There was a feeling of pride at being able to get her to laugh and giggle with his antics. He'd known before that she didn't do that very much and each one he was able to coax out of her made him warm. While he would be self conscious if she knew who he was, Ares wanted to continue to see her in this way; lighter and freer than what she seemed all the other times he'd seen her. There was a sense of triumph when she decided to play along and chase him. And when she'd called him fierce, he knew she didn't mean that he was actually ferocious. Still, his treasonous tail gave away his mood. Overcome by the temptation to try and bite it to keep it still, he almost went in a circle to try but stopped himself in time.

"I'm lucky I found you, little friend." That statement had Ares' full attention. Would she have said that to him? Of course she wouldn't have. She just thinks he's a puppy and you say things like that to animals. Remembering to act like a dog (and that thought had him mentally cringing), he wriggled as if to say he was lucky to have found her too. It was the truth in more ways than one.

"What should I call you? Do you have a name?"  For some reason, Ares hadn't thought that far head or that she'd even want to 'name' him. That caused him to stop and tilt his head inquiringly at her.  "How do you feel about Rex?"

King? The first name she thought to name him was King? Ares wasn't able to hold in the snort of amusement at that. While he was a prince of Olympus, he would hardly ever be a king. If anything were to happen to dear old dad, the council would likely elect Athena as the next in line for her supposed 'wisdom'.

As they approached the entrance of the palace, Ares pressed himself closer to the goddess' legs. He could smell his uncle's hell hounds. At his current size and his vulnerable state, he wouldn't stand a chance against them if they decided he'd make a good chew toy. This time, he didn't resist when Persephone bent and picked him to hold him closer to herself. She would protect him from the hounds. Darting his tongue out, he gave a brief lick to her chin as thanks.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 16th September 2018, 10:44 pm

The noise he made when she suggested Rex for a name was unnerving. It was probably just a sneeze, but it sounded an awful lot like a snort of amusement. Coupled with his "arched" brow when she tried to greet him and the uncanny intelligence in his eyes, she had to wonder if her new canine friend wasn't quite what he seemed. Or perhaps she'd just grown paranoid in her time alone, which was a genuine possibility.

As they approached the doors to the castle, Rex pressed closer and closer to her legs, his earlier playfulness fading. Frowning, she stooped to pick him up. What was wrong with him? Was he nervous? She tucked him closer to her chest and received a lick on the chin as thanks.

She made an adoring noise, wiping her chin on the back of her wrist and laughing as she shouldered open the palace door. The acoustics of the stone-walled entry were different enough that suddenly she understood why Rex had been so anxious outside. Her husband's hounds were baying in their kennels, and she suspected the little Doberman had heard or smelt them before they'd even arrived.

"Are they what was bothering you?" She murmured, leaning back to look at the puppy in her arms as she began to stroke the fur on the back of his neck to soothe him. "Don't you worry. They're on the opposite side of the castle from where we're going, and I've got you."

Walking through the castle was usually one of her least favourite things. The high ceilings caught and amplified every slap that her sandals made against the stone floors, making her jump if she put a foot wrong. She doubted she'd ever feel entirely comfortable being here alone, but Rex was already helping. Even just the tickle of his fur against her bare arms and the soft huff of his breath as he took in all the new smells around him were enough to make the empty hallways seem much less forbidding.

"Nobody here but you and me," she told him, scratching behind one of his pointed ears as she turned the second-last corner before her quarters. "Plenty of places for you to explore, and lots of room to run."

Her quarters felt too big anyway. She'd taken over a guest suite meant for two people when she and her husband had stopped sharing a room, and all of her furniture didn't even fill half of the space. The brightly coloured rugs she'd laid down, along with the soft drapes and massive amounts of pillows, had failed to stop the pervasive echoes. Rex could have all the room he liked, and there would still be some to spare.

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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 16th September 2018, 11:19 pm

Ares tensed as they entered but relaxed when he was stroked on the back of his neck. Who knew that would be soothing? It helped to know that the hounds were contained and that they were going the opposite direction. He did not want to be hell hound kibble. Being in a different form, he took in everything that he could be it sight, scent, or sound. Subconsciously he catalogued the differences. What he picked up on most was that Persephone seemed different. He'd seen her tense or on guard, but she shouldn't be that way here in her own home. That didn't sit well with him and he felt as he had when he'd hurt her wrist to get the Lethe water hidden compass.

A whine started in his throat that was cut off when she began to scratch behind his ear. Shutting his eyes in contentment he knew if he was a cat he'd likely be purring. Good thing his sister hadn't turned him into one of those. As it was, he made sure he kept his head right there so her fingers would stay in that spot. Ooooohhhh, he was turning into a puddle of goo.

"Plenty of places for you to explore, and lots of room to run."

Opening his eyes from the magic touch, Ares almost missed that. He licked her again, and wriggled to get down when they entered her rooms. As soon as she set him down, he took off to take in everything and memorize it. The first thing he noticed was that it was very spacious. Almost as large as his mother's rooms on Olympus. He sneezed a few times when something tickled or it smelled strange. Once he was done inspecting the room, he sat on his haunches and stared at the goddess with a tilted head. She seemed more relaxed now that she was in the room.

About to return to her, he stopped when he caught a scent and growled. Pouncing on the cushion, he savagely bit into it and shook his head as hard as he could. When that didn't work, he placed his fore paws on the offending item and yanked his head back to rip as much as he could. Imagining it as his uncle helped as it was his affronting scent he picked up. Ares didn't want his smell anywhere that was supposed to be Persephone's. Just by her body language he could tell this was her safe haven. Once he'd 'conquered' the cushion which meant it was thoroughly destroyed, and quite pleased with himself, he trotted over to the goddess with his head held high, tongue lolling.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 17th September 2018, 12:26 am

She hadn't quite anticipated the destructive power of puppies, it seemed.

Rex had wriggled and squirmed, trying to get down the minute she'd opened the door to her quarters. He'd licked her chin, and she'd laughed and wiped it away as she bent to set him down. He'd trotted off to explore, and she'd set about unlacing her sandals. Stepping onto the soft rug, she sighed contentedly and placed her hands on her hips. It was amusing to watch the little dog check out his new surroundings, occasionally sneezing when he stuck his nose too far into a fresh smell.

As Rex carried on, she reached up to let her hair down. She'd piled it on top of her head in a messy knot before she'd left for her walk, and when she pulled the pins out of it, it merely unfurled and fell around her shoulders.

Much better, she thought running her nails over her scalp to ease some of the tension from her updo. It felt nice but did little for the stress, as Rex chose that moment to divert his attention to a pillow on the floor that seemed to have personally offended him. She could only watch wide-eyed as he tore into the vibrant blue pillow, shaking his head back and forth as the feather filling drifted down around him like snow. When he'd destroyed the offending upholstery to his satisfaction, he dropped it and trotted back to her with his tongue lolling.

"Oh Rex, no." She sighed in dismay, stepping around her new companion to pick up the ruined remains of the pillow. She'd tried to decorate the room that she'd shared with Hades once in an attempt to make herself more comfortable. He'd never appreciated the extraneous details in his spare dwellings, so she'd taken it with her to her new room.

"No chewing the pillows," she scolded gently, fighting to keep a straight face. His canine grin was infectious, but she couldn't have him destroying anything else or using them for toys. "I'm sure this one deserved that, but the others are innocent I assure you."

Shaking her head and trying not to smile, she crossed the room to deposit the ruined fabric on top of the logs. It was easier to burn it rather than trying to salvage it; she hadn't particularly liked that one, at any rate, thanks to its association with her perpetually absent husband.

"Mind your manners you little rascal," she teased, perching on the sofa and patting the cushion beside her to call him up with her. "There are better chew toys in the world than my pillows, I promise."
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 17th September 2018, 3:51 pm

"Oh Rex, no."

Ares had felt pretty good about what he did until then. At least he wasn't an actual dog and peed on it to cover the scent with his in order to mark his territory. But when he'd heard the dismay in her voice he would have drooped his ears if he could. It had never crossed his mind that she might have liked the cushion he'd destroyed. 'Uh oh,' he thought and tried to shrink himslef down, head and upper body dropping as an apologetic whine issued out of his throat before he could stop it.

It was strange to be scolded by the goddess as if he was a naughty child. He did perk up when she admitted the cushion might have deserved its fate. Pride restored, he was quite happy to see the offending item get tossed into the fire to completely erradicate Hades' scent. Persephone's domaine should be free of her husband's smell and presence.

As if she knew what he was thinking she told him to mind his manners. Yeah, like that was going to happen! He was Ares! God of war! He was supposed to be mannerless and do whatever he liked. Even if he was just a puppy at the moment. As such he was even more vulnerable to his impulsive whims. Behaving himself? They'd see about that. He would continue as he liked but would heel to the goddess for the time being, it wouldn't do to get on her bad side.

At her promise about "chew toys" he would have laughed. He knew plenty of them he'd like to sink his teeth into. At the top of his list was his sister's bow. It was all her fault he was in this predicament. Just because she couldn't take a joke...

Running to where the goddess was, he jumped to get on the couch...and missed. He tumbled off and he cursed these tiny legs! It had been to his humiliation of Artemis' laughter that spurned him quickly adapting to running on four legs to the normal two. It burned when he'd stumbled clumsily and vowed he would get pay back. Under normal circumstances he would have been very angry at Persephone laughing at him. However, he knew this was a rare occurance for her, so he basked in it instead despite it being at his expense. Ares chose to feel honored he'd drawn it out of her albeit an unintentional inconvient way.

Taking it a bit slower, he circled and tried again. His back paws scrambled and he only mentally balked when Persephone helped him up. He allowed it, not wanting to fall again. Huffing, he lay as close to her as he could, head on her thigh. 'Oh, how the mighty have fallen,' he thought disgusted at how reliant he was on the goddess. This was going to be a long punishment.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 18th September 2018, 9:16 pm

She hadn't expected Rex to have such difficulty getting onto the sofa. He launched himself onto the couch, only to slide off and land on his behind on the floor. His expression almost looked annoyed, staring up at the moss-green upholstery. It almost reminded her of Ares' expression when he'd run into her vanity all those months ago - annoyed with the object because clearly, the furniture was at fault. She couldn't help but laugh at the thought, covering her mouth with her hand.

The little dog had made her laugh more in the last little while than she had in months. She tried to keep a positive outlook and amuse herself as best she could, but sometimes her own company wasn't enough. Laughing to yourself not only made others question your sanity, but made you feel even lonelier than before. Laughter followed by silence had a way of opening a hollow under her ribs; much like how she'd felt after she and her husband had begun to drift apart. Almost like she'd felt when she'd left Ares' Thracian temple at a run.

She hadn't seen the God of War since she'd left his quarters after their adventure into Tartarus. She still wished she'd stayed, and yet she couldn't seem to bring herself to seek him out. She knew now that he didn't truly hate her - he wouldn't have helped her if he hadn't wanted to - but she felt guilty. Guilty for intruding, for bothering him, for interrupting, for presuming that he felt the same way that she did. She'd invaded his space several times, both times with less-than-pure intentions, but this was different. She couldn't afford to break her own heart by upsetting or offending him. Watching Rex as he circled her seat in preparation to make another attempt, she wondered if she ought to swallow her pride and reach out. If nothing else, she could use Rex as an excuse. She suspected that the God of War and the cheeky dog would get along famously.

She could see, even before his paws left the floor, that Rex wasn't going to succeed in climbing the sofa. His short legs couldn't quite produce enough power to surmount the curve of the cushion, so she bent and scooped him up before he could fall, depositing him beside her. Though he slumped in defeat when she caught him, he wasn't upset with her - a fact proven by his lack of hesitation in laying his head on her thigh.

"You'll get it next time," she assured him, smiling as she stroked the sleek fur between his ears. "Gravity doesn't like to play fair."

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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 20th September 2018, 8:12 pm

Ares soaked up the attention, wondering at how nice it felt to be petted. He shut his eyes and agreed. Gravity did not play nice. Neither did lousy furniture or vegetation turned death goddesses. No wonder Konan was always at him to pet him. It felt really good and for some reason, his instincts wanted him to roll over. He was not going to be exposing his belly to her! He may be a dog at the moment, but he was not going to succumb! No matter how warm Persephone was or how enjoyable it was! Opening his eyes he stood and shook himself before looked down at the ground then back at the goddess before going to the end of the couch and curling up there, head on his paws watching her.

Why did he have to be so small? If he'd been thinking clearly and if he wasn't afraid of his sister while being so vulnerable, he would have bit her! Actually, he still might. It would be worth it. Who knew who'd she'd told about his condition or how long she would keep it to herself if she decided to do so. It wouldn't surprise him if she ended up forgetting about him. It was in their nature, or he'd come to observe, to  forget about the one you'd punished after said punishment had been doled out. Then again, being a part of their father's war council meant a constant reminder. Ares wasn't sure which he would prefer. He did know that he did not want all of Olympus to know of his plight.

Gazing at Persephone, he ignored the twinge he felt. When - because it was only a matter of time not if - she found out, Ares didn't think he'd want to be around for the fallout. What would she do to know that she had the god of war in her chambers with her? Well, she would have blackmail material on him, that was for sure. One more reason to try and get this taken care of while not letting her know who he was. 'Or hurting her.' Yes, it would hurt her, wouldn't it? That heavy feeling of guilt and something else caused him to look away, tucking his head under one of her cushions.

Naturally, that's when his stomach had to make noises and he wanted to sink into the couch and just suffocate. This was not happening! This, this was worse than when he'd been mortal! He really was going to chew up Artemis' bow and possibly anything else he could get his jaws on
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 20th September 2018, 8:28 pm

She wondered if she'd touched a sore spot because as soon as he'd laid down, Rex was moving to the opposite end of the couch to lie with his head on his paws. He seemed content to sit and watch her, but she was struck again with the feeling that the intelligence in his gaze went far beyond merely canine.

He seemed so put out with her for laughing that she tried to hold it in when his stomach started to grumble. Even brilliant dogs were not immune to the demands of their stomachs, and she felt a twinge of guilt for making him wait so long.

"Are you hungry?" She asked, reaching out to scratch his ear cautiously. Something about his body language suggested that he wasn't in a snuggly mood anymore, and she was prepared to pull her hand back if she needed to. "I'll go find you something."

She rose from the couch and headed out the door towards the kitchens. She'd chosen the suite because of it's proximity to the galleys so that she could slip into the kitchens, get her meal, and return to her rooms without encountering her husband. She'd endured more than her fair share of frosty silences across the length of the dining room table.

The nymphs that served as cooks greeted her brightly, smiles growing wider when she explained her predicament. They produced a steak and a bowl of fresh water for Rex and a plate of fruit and cheese for her, despite her protests. Thanking them warmly, she returned to her rooms with their dinner.

She had to shoulder the door open very gingerly to avoid spilling his water and walk even more slowly between the door and the couch. With a smile and a roll of her eyes, she noted that Rex had shifted from his end of the sofa to the spot where she had been sitting.

"I believe you're in my spot," she said drily, crouching to set his bowls on the floor. "Will you deign to let me help you down, or would you rather make your way?"
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 20th September 2018, 8:31 pm

Keeping his head under the pillow, Ares didn't bother answering the goddess. He was sure his stomach's betrayal had been answer enough. Hearing her say she'd find him something, he pulled his head out and quickly looked to her. He'd gotten up not wanting to be stuck alone in these rooms. Who knew when she'd get back or if she'd hear something in the mean time? He was too late to follow her as he stopped at the edge of the infernal couch. Staring down at the ground, he glared at it. He didn't want to hop down and be stuck down there either subject to Persephone's magic touch. A whine tried to start in his throat that he quickly squashed. Hang it all! Laying down in the spot the goddess vacated, paws and head hanging off the edge, his eyes stayed trained to the doorway she'd vanished into.

If he'd been in his original form, he'd have leered at being in her spot, and getting to feel the warmth. As it was, it brought back a flash of memory of when they had shared a bed and he'd not wanted to move. Ares blamed her scent as being intoxicating and therefore he wanted to stay right there and breathe it in. It was what dogs did though, wasn't it? Move to the warm spot and decide that that was much nicer than where they'd just been? Straining his ears, he listened as hard as he could to every movement to see if he'd have to run for it.

When she'd come back in bearing food, Ares found himself struck with a new dilemma. His stomach was in want of food, but he'd never eaten as a dog before. He did not wish to be humiliated further. He could smell the raw meat and while he didn't usually partake it that way, it was making him salivate. Licking his chops, he stood up and considered. Did he want her help down? Not really. He could get down just fine. Probably, without making a fool of himself. When it was time to eat and drink? That would be the question.

Answering her question with actions, Ares jumped down and was very thankful he'd kept from tumbling. He'd been right. Getting down was much easier than going up. Sitting down at her feet, he looked up at her with his tail wagging. Stupid thing. Oh, this was going to be so embarrassing and he'd likely end up regretting it, but he wasn't going to eat on the floor! While it would help hide his awkwardness, it wasn't happening! He snatched up the steak and ran away just in case Persephone tried to grab him. Turning, he scrambled towards where his nose could smell something familiar. He kept running, claws clacking against the floor and he almost stopped when he saw where he was. This was very very typical of what he'd expect to find in Persephone's quarters. He made a dash for the table and chair when he saw it. He knew she had to have one somewhere! Once he'd hopped into the chair successfully now knowing he'd have to put more oomf into his jumps, placed his steak on the table. Sitting to catch his breath, he placed one paw on the steak as he gazed at it contemplatively. Now...how was he to eat this thing?
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 20th September 2018, 8:33 pm

She could only watch with amusement, and a little bit of awe as Rex scooped up his steak and took off running towards the table and chairs that she kept near the back of the room. She hardly used them, but he seemed intent on it, so she followed his lead, pausing only to scoop up his water dish in her free hand.

He cleared the top of the chair this time, depositing the steak on the table with a comical 'thunk' noise that made her giggle as she placed his water dish beside him and then moved to sit in another chair. Picking up a grape, she watched him consider his plan of attack. The nymphs had given her quite a large piece of meat, but Rex didn't seem to mind. She, on the other hand, was struck by that same niggling feeling as she popped the grape into her mouth and chewed slowly.

Was she so lonely that she imagined human qualities in a dog? Or was there something going on? She wasn't sure. Sometimes he seemed like any other dog, but then he'd do something so close to human behaviour - like sitting at a table, for example - that she couldn't help herself.

He turned his head this way and that, deciding on the best angle before he nibbled experimentally on the edge. She rolled another grape between her fingers, amused by his antics, and decided that she'd find Ares in the morning. If the odd feeling went away after, then all would be well. If not, then she'd have to find some way to find out what was so strange about Rex.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 20th September 2018, 8:35 pm

There was only one way to go about it and that was to just bit into it. Nibbling at the edges, Ares growled a bit as he shook his head and yanked off a chunk so he wouldn't have to keep chewing on the same piece without getting anywhere. Still, he had to work it in order to find out how to best chew the bit that was in his mouth without choking or swallowing it down whole. He continued in the way completely forgetting for a moment that he wasn't alone. While it was appalling to have to eat not only a raw steak, but in such animalistic fashion, he couldn't help but also feel an odd sense of triumph. While it wasn't ideal, he'd at least be able to say he'd had a meal with the goddess now. They were even sitting at the table. Not wanting to see her expression, he kept his eyes on the meat, licking his muzzle as needed and emitting a few growls here and there until he was done.

Setting his head down on the table, he watched the goddess not wanting to chance to try and drink only to end up looking foolish and cause her to question his behavior. Stomach full, he was content to sit in her presence. it would have been nicer if he'd been able to enjoy it as himself. Ares had hoped awhile back that they might have dined together once. That had never happened nor did it look like it ever would. So, he would take every advantage that he could without damaging his dented pride.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 20th September 2018, 8:39 pm

Putting thoughts of his oddity aside, Persephone hid her smile behind her hand as she watched the small dog tear into the steak with abandon. A few snarls slipped from his mouth, and she had to giggle at the bizarre image of the tiny dog attacking a steak that was bigger than his head. He was fierce for his size; there was no denying it. He'd safely defended her from a pillow, and now a raw steak.

Someday he might make a good guard dog, she thought, reaching for a piece of pear. Someday.

When he'd finished demolishing the steak, he lay his head down on the table and just sat, seemingly content. Again, she almost felt as though he were watching her, but she brushed off her suspicions. Even if he was, he wasn't about to hurt her. He seemed to want to defend her if anything.

Or he just wanted the cheese that sat next to the pile of grapes on her plate.

"Would you like some?" She smiled, breaking off a piece and offering it to him for him to sniff.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 20th September 2018, 8:41 pm

Eyes shining, Ares looked at the offered treat -treat it was, he was being fed from the hand of Persephone - his tongue licking his maw even though his belly was quite full. Well, one little nibble wouldn't hurt would it? And if it would keep her smiling like that, he would suffer the brief discomfort that would pain him later. His nose was already twitching, picking up the different scents of ingredients. The goddess it seemed didn't eat that plain stuff the mortals sold and ate. Oh no, in this he could tell there were herbs and nuts and it really did smell delicious!

Gently, he was careful so as not to scrape her with his teeth as he took the offered morsel from her. It was down the hatch a lot soon than he would have liked and he gave in to the urge to lick the goddess' fingers for any of the lingering taste. Thirst was quickly getting to him. Having no inkling to how long his sister was going to leave him in this form or when he'd be able to break it, Ares would have to drink from the water bowl. 'How humiliating.' It would be worse he supposed to die of thirst. Would he end up being a shade as a dog or would he revert back to his own image? Not wanting to find out, he didn't want to be able to empathize with someone like Tantalus.

He supposed he could have waited until the goddess got bored or was distracted, but he didn't want to leave her alone. But he didn't want to end up half drowning himself before he could slake his thirst! After a mental tantrum, he sucked up his arrogance and stuffed it into a corner then grudgingly dipped his muzzle into the bowl of water. He was able to get the hang of it within the first few failed attempts after going over his memories of dog watching a certain Cerberus. That had been interesting to say the least when it was meal time. If he could have, he would have been red from shame and discomfort.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 20th September 2018, 10:34 pm

She couldn't help but giggle as Rex chased down every last hint of the cheese left on her fingers. His rough pink tongue tickled terribly, and she had to pull her hand back before his desire for salt indeed sent her into hysterics.

She wasn't ticklish if she put her mind to it, but it was hard to put her guard up when an adorably enthusiastic puppy was drooling all over her hand. Her cheeks were beginning to ache from grinning at that point, and she had to sit back in her chair to catch her breath.

"When I offered you cheese, I didn't realize that my fingers would be part of the deal," she drawled, shaking her head as she cast about for something to dry her hand on that wasn't her skirts. Admittedly the only witness to her poor manners would have been a puppy, but she also didn't fancy having to get the whole chiton cleaned because she'd dirtied the skirts. "I'm going to assume you enjoyed that."

She received no reply, firstly because he was a dog and couldn't talk, and secondly because he was nose-deep in his water dish. He must have been intensely thirsty because the first few seconds of his drinking involved much snuffling and splashing. Once he settled down, she relaxed again. She'd been half afraid that he was drowning and she would have to go and save him from the shallow dinnerware.

Smiling fondly, she crossed one leg over the other and placed a piece of apple in her mouth. She couldn't remember the last time she'd laughed this much, or this genuinely. It was so refreshing to fully relax, without having to keep her guard up or worry that she wasn't gauging the situation accurately. Half the time she felt as though she was underestimating everyone and everything.

Dogs were indeed a goddess' best friend, she thought, placing another grape on her tongue.

"What to do now," she mused, breaking off a piece of cheese and adding it to her mouthful of grape with a sigh. She supposed she could read, or go for another walk, but neither of those appealed. She hadn't painted in months, and she doubted her garden could stand anymore tending. If she pulled any more "weeds," she wouldn't have anything left.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 20th September 2018, 11:20 pm

Licking the excess water off his muzzle, Ares wished that a hole would open up and drop him in Tartarus. This whole situation and how he couldn't control his body's reactions were degrading and irritating! While half of him was consumed with the negatives of this debacle, the rest of him was thoroughly enjoying it. He was quite content to listen to the goddess' laughter, tail wagging. Dropping his head back onto the table he edged a bit closer. It was a wonder to see her this carefree and relaxed. A vision of privilege that he burned into his memory to be able to look back on when things inevitably turned south as they would. Something that he would hopefully be able to replicate once he'd served his time. If she forgave him and allowed him a second chance.

Head snapping up, Ares leapt from the chair uncaring how ungraceful he'd landed as he ran full tilt around the room trying to find a place he could hide completely, sounds of distress escaping his mouth. Knowing he didn't have much time, Ares went with the only place available to him. He darted to Persephone's legs, pressing against them ignoring her concern about him, as he was in too much fear. Crouching as small as he could as his heart hammered against his ribs he was mentally swearing a blue streak. This was not good! Even while trying to make himself as small as possible his ears strained to hear what they could over the loud - to him- sound of his heart trying to escape his body.

Hermes was the last person he wanted known to that he had been turned into a dog and was hiding out in the Underworld. Yet, for some reason only the fates knew, he was here. There was a knock on Persephone's door and Ares quivered when he'd heard the second to youngest god's voice. 'Don't open it, don't open it,' he desperately pleaded. He knew his please went unanswered when the god's voice was louder and his footsteps after a very distinctive sound he'd heard once before not too long ago while fetching a sword.

"Is it true?" Were the first words out of the messenger's mouth. Ares' flinched wondering if soon the whole of Olympus would be broadcasting with his shame of being a dog. Instead, it was worse. "Is it true that Aphrodite and Hephaestus found their son?"
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 21st September 2018, 3:30 pm

Perhaps she ought to have been more careful regarding what she wished for. Within a few seconds of her musing about what to do, Rex scrambled off the chair and launched himself across the room whining frantically, and she stood in alarm. He could sense something she couldn't, and the first thought in her mind was that her husband was on his way. Her second thought was that it might be her mother. Neither was good, so she hastily pulled her hair over one shoulder and smoothed the folds of her chiton in preparation. If she was going to have a surprise visitor, she might as well try and look somewhat presentable.

She turned to call the panicked puppy, but he was already on his way, skittering around behind her legs. All her furniture was too tall to conceal him, so she supposed it made the most sense to hide him behind her skirts. He crouched down and she fanned the fabric out to give him more cover as a knock sounded at the door. Taking a deep breath, she passed her palms over her skirt once more and summoned a vine from one of the potted plants that stood sentry near the door.

The vine didn't even have time to grasp the doorknob before Hermes came bursting through, chattering on about Aphrodite and Hephaestus' child. No greeting, no pleasantries, just straight to the point. Usually, she enjoyed that about the God of Thieves and Messengers, but not today. She needed time to think of a way to get him out of her chambers, which meant stalling the hyperactive Olympian.

"Hello, Hermes, please come in. Yes, I'm well, thank you," She drawled, folding her arms across her chest as she stared at the younger deity. He paid her no mind, folding his gangly frame into one of her chairs with a grin.

"Well, is it?" He challenged, arching a bushy brow as she rolled her eyes.
"Manners," she reminded him, tossing her hair. "I'm not saying anything until I hear a 'please'."

The Messenger of the Gods huffed sulkily, folding forward to rest his elbows on his knees. Usually, the two of them were as friendly as Olympian half-siblings could be, but Persephone wasn't in the mood for his games and antics today - not after he'd barged into her room unannounced and uninvited, frightening Rex half to death.

"Persephone," he said after a moment of silence. "Would you care to confirm whether or not the rumours of the discovery of a certain missing child are true or not? Please?"

She sighed. She knew full well that they were, but she also knew that a particular War God had had a hand in the boy's disappearance. To admit such a thing would only add fuel to the fire, and that was the last thing she (or Ares) needed.

"Why would I know?" She said crossly, shaking her head. She only had to fake part of her annoyance with the lanky god. Couldn't he have asked someone else and left her alone?

"I haven't seen her in weeks. Why haven't you just asked?" The Goddess of Love had been busy, Persephone knew. Admittedly, she was preoccupied because a particular child - now nearly grown - had been found, but Hermes didn't realize that. "You know full well where to find her. "

"But 'Seph," Hermes whined, pouting and batting his blonde eyelashes at her. "Asking her would be tactless." He grinned impishly, batting his eyelashes at her again. "Pretty please?"

Damn his stubbornness. Why could he never take a hint?

"Go ask her. It's not my story to tell," she retorted. Shaking his head, he rose from his seat and turned for the door.

"You're no fun," he complained as she smiled in response.

"Of course not," she answered, making a shooing motion with her hand. "Come by for tea if you want to chat, but at least send a note first."

"Spoilsport." He stuck his tongue out at her as he pulled the door open, stepped through, and closed it behind him, leaving her to exhale in relief.

"I really ought to put a lock on that door," she grumbled, pulling her skirts aside to check on the little black dog hunkering behind her ankles. "Crisis averted, Rex."
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 21st September 2018, 4:16 pm

Ares heard the greeting and pride for the goddess swelled within his breast. If he could have, he would have smirked at the other god. As it was, he stayed where he was not moving an inch, hardly daring to breathe. As Persephone put the winged menace in his place, Ares reveled in it. It would have been more enjoyable had he not been a dog cowering under the goddess' skirts -another thing he would have aporeciated under different circumstances- trying to not draw attention. Still, he was hard pressed for his tongue not to loll out and override his distress.

"I'm not saying anything until I hear a 'please'."

Ares listened, waiting and sighed mentally when Hermes did the smart thing. Aparently he knew Persephone well enough too when it was better to give in rather than press a matter. He heard the other ask his question with a please tacked on. Waiting with baited breath Ares wondered if this was it. If everything was going to blow wide open. A mobid part of him wanted to know the answer as well. While he knew what he, himself had told her, Ares hadn't any idea what Aphrodite had confided in the other goddess. Nor did he know what Persephone could have dug up on her own if she'd been so inclined.

His heart nearly stopped then started beating again when Persephone got irritated with the messenger and told him to go to Aphrodite. After she'd visited the fates and had it confirmed the mongrel was alive, she'd told Ares. He, of course, already knew. What he hadn't known and couldn't prevent was the foreign demigod that she recruited to find the brat. Or for said demigod to relate to the goddess about her son's run ins with her lover. That hadn't gone well. It had also caused her to return to her husband while they tried to get the boy and find a way to restore his godhood to him. It likely wouldn't happen until Zeus spoke with the fates to see if there were any dangers to admitting him to lower level deity status.

"Go ask her. It's not my story to tell."

Ares knew that was a dismissal. If it had been directed at him, he would have had to determine her body language if he'd press his luck or leave. It seemed Hermes was not of the same persuasion, to his relief.

Listening to their banter, he realized that she and Hermes were on friendly terms. It seemed he had been mistaken about how many people she socialized with. While it made sense that she would interact with the messenger what with his helping escort the dead at times, Ares mulled over this new information. He wasn't jealous of the relationship. Something eased a bit inside which puzzeled him to no end.

He nearly didn't hear the god leave only coming to when his hiding place moved.

"Crisis averted, Rex."

Looking up, he gave a happy wriggle, and as soon as she bent, he was licking her face, fingers, anything he could as a thanks
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 21st September 2018, 8:27 pm

Rex seemed to be as pleased as she was that their unexpected visitor had left. When she crouched to pet him, thinking it might soothe him, he started licking her hands and cheeks exuberantly. He was wriggling around so much that she had a hard time even reaching him to pet him.

"Next time we have a guest we'll find you somewhere better to hide," she chuckled, scratching behind his ear.

Hermes' visit wasn't out of character for him. The god of thieves and travellers tended to come and go as he pleased when he wasn't delivering messages, but the topic concerned her. She remembered all too well the day that Ares had told her about Aphrodite's son and what might become of him - of all of them - if the boy came to Olympus. Zeus would undoubtedly use him to further his ends, and all of them, the boy included, would suffer.

She'd been too distracted by her ire to listen properly, but once she'd cooled off and had time to lick her wounds, she'd realized that he had a point. She was happy for her friend, but the boy was as much a threat as he was a miracle. He deserved to know where he came from - it was only fair - but if he tried to return, there was every chance that the story would not have a happy ending.

A twinge of guilt nearly made her wrinkle her nose as she continued to lavish attention on the small black dog. Perhaps her ignorance had been the final straw - why he'd gone to Thrace in the first place. It wasn't a thought she was proud of, and yet again she felt like finding Ares if only to apologize. It was a wonder he'd helped her at all with the sword, given that all she'd done since their disagreement in her chambers on Olympus was insult him and generally try and get the upper hand in their game that had stopped being a game.

"Shall we go on an adventure later?" She asked the puppy, shifting her hands to scratch under his chin. "I think a friend of mine would like to meet you."

Surely bringing a puppy to visit him would count as a peace offering? She supposed she could have offered him the sword he'd helped her retrieve from Tartarus, but she'd already had it melted down in Hephaestus' forge. At least bringing Rex to meet the god would be a happy event, unlike the last several times she'd seen him.


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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 21st September 2018, 8:57 pm

Hopefully, there wouldn't need to be a next time but the odds that there would be were quite high. While he knew that his uncle and Persephone had grown apart, he didn't know how often the two saw each other. From what he'd seen before, she was still close to him, wanting to present that sword to him. Yet, from what he'd seen as a dog so far indicated that he'd been wrong about a lot of his assumptions. There had been things he'd been correct about, and for some reason, the thought didn't please him as much as it should have.

"Shall we go on an adventure later?"

An adventure? Hadn't their last adventure been enough for her? There was also the fact that he himself was already participating in one against his will! His interest was piqued when she stated, "I think a friend of mine would like to meet you."

Tilting his head in curiosity, Ares wondered who this friend was. Oh, he hoped it wasn't Aphrodite. Knowing her, she'd know it was him even if he was currently in the form of a dog. Wracking his brain, he tried to think of anyone he'd seen friendly with the goddess and only came up with a handful of faces. One of which was Artemis. Which one would be worse? Aphrodite or Artemis? Stomach trying to tie itself up in anxiety his doubts about the Fates cursing him dwindled. Maybe he should try and tell her that he wasn't a dog and get this over with? Despite how pleasant it had been to see her so radiant and unrestrained. While it might take awhile, he knew that his absence woudln't be overlooked for long. Unless dear old dad got side tracked which happens, but Athena would likely try and keep everyone's attention on the more immediate battle with the titans.

Taking the woman's skirts carefully in his teeth, Ares tugged then let go and ran towards the door and sat, waiting. Maybe she'd think he was eager to see her friend. While preparing himself for her to hate him, Ares had made up his mind.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 21st September 2018, 9:46 pm

Rex gently tugged her skirts and ran to the door, evidently waiting for her to let him out and begin their little 'adventure.' She'd thought she might clean herself up a little first, but she doubted it would matter either way. Hopefully, Ares would be focused on Rex and not on her mussed hair and rumpled skirts.

"Just a minute," she laughed at the little dog, crossing the room to slip her feet into her sandals and lace them around her ankles. "I can hardly go up to Olympus barefoot."

Heavens knew that the Olympus-dwelling gods regarded she and her husband as bumpkins already. She preferred to do what she could to reduce that perception, though she doubted it would have much effect. If she'd turned up wrapped in gauzy white fabric with flowers in her hair and dirt on her feet, they'd hardly bat an eye no matter what she did. She blamed her mother, partly - Demeter would tell anyone who would listen about the a-social psychopath that held her daughter hostage for half the year - but there was little to be done about it. Her complaints to her mother usually fell on deaf ears.

With her sandals secured to her feet, she called Rex to her and scooped him up before opening her green-lined portal and stepping through onto Olympus. As soon as the portal closed behind her, Persephone started walking. They weren't far from Ares' rooms, but she used the time to try and settle her nerves. She'd stopped fearing him a while ago, but somehow he still made her nervous and jittery. As she took a few deep breaths, she decided she was glad she'd chosen to carry Rex. If she had her hands full of the small canine, they couldn't shake.

As his doorway came into sight, she took a deep breath, and then another as she knocked on the door. She waited for a moment, straining her ears for any sound inside the room, and then tapped on the door again. Her heart sank a little when Ares didn't reply the second time. Was he avoiding her? Was he in one of his temples? She didn't have the time to check them this time, and she doubted he'd appreciate her effort. Shouldering the door open, she stared into the empty chamber and bit her lip, considering her options. She could cut her losses and leave now, wait for him, or call him. She genuinely did want him to meet Rex, so that eliminated option one. Ares could stay in his temples for days, depending on his mood, so option two just wasn't feasible. That left option three.

Stepping further into the room, she bumped the door shut with her hip and turned to face the center of the room. She smiled as the oh-so-familiar couch came into view, right before she opened her mouth and called the God of War.

"Ares," she spoke into the empty air, her smile warming her tone. "I have a surprise that I think you'll want to see."


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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 22nd September 2018, 9:56 pm

At the mention of Olympus, Ares felt as if his stomach was full of lead. It was a trip he was dreading despite the need for them to go there. When he was scooped up into the goddess' arms, he nearly thought of putting up a fight. The plan had been for him to accompany her and slipping away. It would have been easy to do so once she'd opened the the way. Then he would have tried to get Artemis' bow to his son Eros. He was the only person he trusted with that type of weapon, especially one of Artemis'.

Unfortunately, it seemed he'd not get a chance to escape before Persephone was to put the pieces together of who he was. Nor did he struggle knowing he couldn't fight the inevitable. What kept him from slumping in defeat was his overwhelming curiosity. He wanted to know who her 'friend' was. It was quite a shock to him upon seeing which wing they were in. Taking a keen interest, he looked about, his heart hammering when he realized exactly where they were. She couldn't have meant....Could she?

'Friend?' There was confusion upon the discovery as well as mixed feelings. While they'd parted on better terms than they had previously, Ares hadn't known that she had softened her view of him. At Persephone's breathing, he looked up at her wondering if she still feared him and felt a flash of pain from that thought. Dread settled and grew as he saw his own door. He knew no answer would come from it as he was in the goddess' arms even if she did not know it. Morbid curiosity had him wondering what she would do. Looking up at her, he marveled at her tone when she called his name.

When had she decided he was a friend? And why would she first think that of him to show off her puppy to or that he would want to see her newest acquisition? This was one of the many reasons he considered her to be atypical and confusing. Why did she have that effect on him? She confused him like no other. Every time he thought he had her figured out, she had to go and pull something that upended everything.

Ares for a moment pondered on what she would do when she got no reaction. It wasn't as if she wanted to hurl insults at him and press her views on him like she had last time, insistent that he was in the wrong. Nor did she want to give him a piece of her mind for leaving her after he'd purposely led her on. She wouldn't go and try his temples only to find them empty? That thought caused him to whine. Ares did not wish to hurt her her or have her become sad. Nor did he want her angry either. He did not wish to know what it felt like to be a plant.

Wriggling, he jumped from Persephone's arms. As soon as he landed he ran to jump up on his chair, turned, and laid his head upon the armrest unsure what to do; what Persephone would do. Perhaps going to his son was the best option all around? Ares knew that he wouldn't share what happened with his mother. No, Eros was more discreet than that even if he would likely hold it over his father's head. With a doleful expression, he watched the goddess, wondering how long she would wait.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 23rd September 2018, 12:48 am

Nothing. Not even a lilac shimmer to indicate that Ares had heard her but couldn't come right away. She might as well have said nothing at all. In the same instant, Rex wriggled his way out of her arms and lept up onto Ares' chair. She doubted Ares would appreciate finding a puppy on his throne if he did arrive, so she tried calling the Doberman back. Rex was about as responsive as Ares, his rear remaining planted on the seat and his chin on the armrest as he stared at her with those unfathomable eyes. Huffing in frustration, she shook her head. Something wasn't right, that much was clear. Exactly what she wasn't sure, but she was sure she'd find out eventually. She always did.

"Rex, come here." She commanded, looking pleadingly at the dog. He didn't budge, and she frowned. Why did he have to choose to be stubborn now? He'd been so well-behaved until now when he just stopped listening. What was she missing?

Her gaze panned across the room as she set her hands on her hips. Everything was in its place in Ares' spare quarters, with the notable exceptions of Ares and Rex - the former notably absent, and the latter making himself comfortable in the war god's throne.

Ares' chair. Rex had run straight for the throne without so much as pausing to sniff the air. He'd been all over her room when they'd first arrived, assessing and discovering all the nooks and crannies that he could reach. Here, Rex didn't seem to be looking at anything but her. Like he was waiting for something; for her to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

When it dawned on her exactly why Rex had seemed so keenly intelligent, why she'd almost recognized his presence just before she'd encountered him near the gates, she clapped a hand over her mouth. It wasn't so much to keep herself from speaking - she couldn't find the words anyway - but to at least partially obscure the scalding hot flush that was creeping up her jaw, cheeks, and neck.

Oh, hells. Oedipus could have seen more than she did after he plucked his eyes out. Even he would have noticed if he'd been treating a transformed deity as a house pet.

She wished the earth could swallow her whole. Her new companion was the god of war in another form, and she hadn't noticed. No wonder he'd run from her as soon as they'd gotten in the room - she could only imagine what he thought of her after her so-called hospitality.

"Oh," was all she managed to say from behind her hand as she stared at the little dog with a mix of burning embarrassment and horror.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 23rd September 2018, 1:27 am

There was nothing for it, so Ares stayed where he was, watching the goddess and refusing to answer to the moniker she had graced him with. It took a bit, but he watched as her gaze swept his rooms, stance indicating her frustration and confusion. How her eyes had landed back upon him, that expression that said she was slotting all the pieces of the puzzle together. 'And the penny drops,' he thought with a sigh. He didn't need to see the hand going over her mouth to know when recognition hit. Oh, but she did look gorgeous when she was flushed. And there was the look of horror which caused him to slump down completely on the chair and look away in shame and discomfort.

His chest burned and ached to know that she was likely horrified to learn that she'd had him in her rooms. A place she was supposed to have to herself and he'd invaded it. It didn't matter that she hadn't been aware of whom he was. The only reason she'd behaved as she had towards him was because she thought he was just another dog. He'd taken that away from her. He hadn't been just another dog she could confide in that wouldn't judge her. Her rooms in her husband's home should have been hers alone, whereas the ones up here on Olympus were fair game.

'We already knew it wouldn't last.' Ares told it to shut up. Everything might have been fine and he'd have been able to keep deceiving himself for a while longer if it hadn't been for Artemis' bow. Now, he would have to face the ugly truth. Persephone would gladly distance herself from him now. She might, out of a sense of obligation, help him with his predicament. Afterwards? She would do as she had always done. It didn't matter either that some of his assumptions might be wrong. He and Aphrodite had had spats but had made up, the same could hold true for Persephone and Hades.

If he was lucky, Persephone might hold off on her anger until after he was him once again. The thought of her ire caused him to whine and put his paws over his head. Ares was not looking forward to that at all! Might as well face the music. Getting up, he jumped off the chair and went towards the back of his chambers, glanced back at the goddess to get his point across and then moved behind the curtain. Thankfully, she followed him. Going to the tunnel he'd shown her, he pawed at the wall. He'd need her help to open it. A slight plan had come together in his mind. All he needed was for Persephone to decide she would go along with it. Maybe she might if she saw that the bonus to helping him was learning some of the passageways around Olympus without being seen?
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 23rd September 2018, 2:06 am

She should have known it was too good to be true. An adorable pet found on the banks of the Styx was just too much to ask of the universe. She didn't mind that it was Ares - at least it hadn't been her husband, or Dionysus, for that matter - but she knew that he couldn't possibly be pleased about being fed raw steak and being made to drink from a bowl.

Well, at least she'd been able to daydream about something good happening between them. She'd get over it, she always did, but it wasn't going to be pleasant in the meantime. She did have to wonder who turned Ares into a puppy, but she doubted he'd be in any mood to tell her if they got him back to human form. She didn't think he'd done it of his own accord, which left the possibility of someone doing it to him. The list of suspects was endless, and she also suspected that he'd deserved it at least a little, but she also resented whoever had done it just a tiny bit. She'd genuinely made an ass of herself this time, all because they'd turned him into a dog. They couldn't have cursed him with speaking all of his thoughts aloud, or with a dog's ears. No, they had to turn him into a puppy.

Ares' pointed look interrupted her internal panic. He'd descended from the chair and made his way over to the curtain that divided his dressing area from the rest of his rooms, pausing to stare at her as if he was saying 'hurry up, we don't have all day.' She still wished that she could disappear to lick her wounds in private, but she owed him this at least. He'd come with her to Tartarus - she could follow him to see what he wanted.

He led her to the wall beside the mannequin that held his armour and began to paw at it. She knew he'd used his powers to open the section that divided his rooms from the secret passage that led into the Observation Hall, but would it even respond to hers? She didn't bother following through on her line of questioning. If Ares wanted her to open the passage, then who was she to argue?

A pulse of her energy served well enough to unlock the sliding section of wall. Her arched eyebrows betrayed her surprise as she stepped into the gap and looked back at the puppy-shaped God of War for direction. It was hard to meet his eyes knowing how badly she'd ruined things, but being rude would only make matters worse.

"Lead on," she told him, gesturing for him to go ahead of her into the tunnel.
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Niemand on 23rd September 2018, 3:00 am

Thankful that she didn't question him, Ares watched her as she did as he'd asked and opened the passage. Lolling his tongue out in laughter at her surprise, he trotted past her then stopped for a moment. While he knew that his senses were now heightened, it was rather interesting to say the least to pick up all the nuances that he'd missed as a god. Realizing what he was doing and that Persephone might think he was stalling, he walked on. While he'd had a mental map of the tunnels in his head for a century or more, it helped to have the keener senses to help him traverse the maze. He led her though to where they would come out near his ex-lover's wing. That was not where they were going or even who they were seeing.

Stopping outside of one pawed at the wall again, looking up at the goddess. Even before passage was opened completely, he was out like a shot heading for his son's rooms. Persephone would be able to talk to him and and he'd go get the bow for them. It only pained him a little that he was uncomfortable around this son and not the twins. Then again, he'd not had a hand in raising Eros like he had the other two. He and Aphrodite had split them up due to personality and had agreed that it would be better for her to raise the child whose ability was much like her own. Thankfully, he wasn't as vindictive as either of his parents. It was an added bonus to know that he helped produce a child whose ability Zeus feared. Ares got a good laugh every time he thought of how scared his father was of those arrows.

Stopping outside the room, he now balked. As much as he hated having Persephone see him as a dog, he didn't want his son to see him this way either. Huffing, he glared at the door before he scratched at it. Not wanting to bark and have someone investigate it or have to hide again or pretend to be the goddess' dog. Scratching was the only way he knew to let her know this was the door they needed.

"You're absolutely sure it's this door?" Persephone hissed under her breath, hesitating to touch the doorknob. Ares looked at her for a moment before he once again scratched at the paneling. "If you say so," she muttered.

Once she'd pushed the door open to let him in, he grabbed her skirts in his teeth and tugged demanding she come in too and not use the opportunity to run off. He was happy to note that it seemed like the only one home was Eros who looked up from the quiver he was loading with a surprised look at the two deities. His gaze went from the goddess to the dog and back again. "When did you get a dog?"

Ares growled and was tempted to bite the boy. Either that or grab his bow and chew it to shreds. Eros looked startled and held his hands up. "Woah, I didn't offend her or anything, okay?"

No, he had offended Ares and just for that he was going to hide the brat's favorite crossbow and possibly send the twins to torment him as the off balanced his divinity set. As if he could sense the negativity going on, the god took a closer look at the puppy and then rudely pointing asked, "What'd he do to piss off Artemis?"
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Re: Dog Days of Winter

Post by Holly on 23rd September 2018, 2:10 pm

He could have been leading her in circles for all she knew as they wandered through the seemingly-endless passages. She'd hardly dreamed something like this might exist on Olympus, but then again she'd never spent much time exploring until recently. It had been easier to seclude herself and stay close to her rooms unless someone called for her - nothing dangerous, no unpleasant encounters, no stress. Her eyebrows arched again when they exited the tunnel into a very familiar hallway. Why were they near Aphrodite's quarters? Had he lost his mind?

He stopped in front of a nondescript door and began pawing at the wood, looking at her expectantly when she voiced her concerns under her breath.

"You're absolutely sure it's this door?" He scratched again, looking from her to the door.

"If you say so." With a sigh, she swung the door wide to allow him entrance. He seemed intent on having her follow him, grabbing her skirts in his teeth and tugging, so she complied, closing the door behind her. The room was unfamiliar, but she knew the youthful deity who sat in a chair refilling a quiver of arrows. He looked younger than his years, with pale skin and hair so black that it shone blue in the light. He'd apparently grown tired of his father's already dark curls and taken matters into his own hands.

"Nice to see you too, Eros," she replied, looking to Ares with an arched eyebrow. She'd hardly expected him to bring her to his son, though the God of Love's comment about Artemis clarified things somewhat. It was so typical of Ares to aggravate the moon goddess, but she must have been particularly annoyed if she'd gone to the trouble of turning him into the youngest form of his divine animal. She was tempted to sigh and laugh in equal measure but refrained from both. Ares' pride would be wounded enough by now, and she had no desire to damage it further.

"Your guess is as good as mine." She shrugged, tucking a curl behind one ear. "Could have been anything from 'borrowing' something to taking a joke too far." Eros snorted, shaking his head and then smoothing his hair artfully back into place.

"Figures." The god of love set aside his quiver and rose from his chair. "What do you want me to do about it?"

Persephone shrugged again, looking to the little dog standing beside her with an arched eyebrow. Now more than ever she wished she could read Ares' mind if only to make communicating simpler, but he'd find a way to make them understand his wishes.


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