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by Niemand 23rd November 2018, 12:09 am

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Picking Up the Pieces

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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 10th October 2018, 8:44 pm

She hadn't laughed so much in weeks, and it was entirely his fault. His laughter was infectious, rich and warm, and his touch didn't hurt either. She was as relaxed as she'd ever been in another being's company, and somehow he still managed to make her melt when he kissed her hand and laced their fingers together. He shifted, giving her more space, and she used the opportunity to sit up and turn to face him, careful not to part their fingers.

"No pants at all?" She snickered, catching just the faintest flicker in his eyes despite his grin. Her answering smile faded slightly, and she shifted forward to put her free hand on his leg.

"What's bothering you?" She asked softly, tilting her head to study his expression, hoping to find some clue as to what might be upsetting him.

It could just have been a flicker, inconsequential and harmless, but she wanted to be sure. After Ares' reaction to her casual use of powers, she knew that everything that had happened was beginning to take a toll on him, and she didn't want to make things harder for him. She'd come down here to see if she could offer him some comfort, not to see how much salt and lemon juice she could pour in his open wounds.

"Option three is only an option if you want it to be," she murmured, shifting her grip on his hand so that she could press a kiss to the pad where his thumb joined his palm.

She doubted that was the problem. Physical intimacy was one of the things they'd never had trouble with, so it seemed more likely that something else was behind that tiny falter in Ares' smile. Hopefully, he'd understand her intentions and answer, but if not, she'd content herself with keeping him company until he felt comfortable opening up or returned to Olympus - whichever came first.

"If you don't want to tell me, that's fine, but if something is bothering you, I don't mind listening." She gave him a rueful smile, stroking his palm with her thumb.

So much for not prying, but at least he'd understand that her intentions were good.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 10th October 2018, 10:03 pm

Ares couldn't help but watch her as mixed emotions and thoughts rolled through him conflicting with one another. It irritated and amazed him in equal parts that she could read him so well and pick up on just the smallest change in his demeanor. Hadn't that been what he'd wanted once? He had wanted to have her see through his masks past the role he put on that he was expected to play. Hadn't he nearly exploded before because he'd told her he preferred someone who thought compared to an empty headed pretty thing? Persephone pushed him to talk whether he wanted to or not with those soulful eyes of hers.

At this moment in time, he would much preferred if she hadn't learned to read him at all. If she hadn't, then he wouldn't have been the one to place that expression on her face. Glancing down to their joined hands where she was trying to offer him comfort, he took it and got out, "Sorrow doesn't become you, highness."

Brows furrowed, he wondered how he was to explain when he was trying to figure it out himself? While she could roll her eyes at him, it would be different for her. It was well known that he'd bedded quite a few mortal women over the centuries, yet they had always been mortal. It wasn't a sudden condition that had been thrust upon them after being a god. Persephone and he had loved each other as deities. Ares knew full well that his mortal body was vastly different then she recalled. She'd called him vain before and it still held true to a degree however he believed he was on the opposite of the spectrum at the moment. It was hard to hold onto his confidence and bravado when it would cut deep to be rejected while in this condition. It was fear. It lay coiled in a tight ball in his stomach. A bitter laugh escaped his mouth only having felt this same apprehension once before when it came to his physical looks. What if he didn't measure up to who he was previously?

'She'll find out sooner or later.' She would, but he didn't want to worry her which she undoubtedly would. Body tensing with his anxiety, Ares hesitated. Did he want to show her how haggard he really was? Glancing back to her eyes, he searched them before he shut his eyes and gathered what little courage he was able to call up. Opening his eyes, he removed his hand from hers in order to take off the slightly oversized sweatshirt. Letting it drop to the floor he waited on her judgement.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 11th October 2018, 12:44 am

"Sorrow doesn't become you, highness."

Nor did it become him, but she wasn't about to argue that point.  His brows drew together as he tried to decide how much to reveal to her, and she wished that she'd been just a little less observant.   Perhaps their separation was behind her sudden keenness as she tried to drink in all the things she'd missed so much, but it hardly mattered.  Borne of love or not, she was treading on a sore spot.  

The edge on his laughter was back, bitter as ever, though she couldn't have said why.  Whatever it was, it was destined to remain inside his head, and she promised herself that she wasn't going to pry this time.  Her feelings for him didn't mean that he owed her an explanation for everything that went on in his head, and that was fine.  All it meant was that she might have to restrain her natural curiosity just the tiniest bit.

His eyes closed, as they often did before he did something that made him uncomfortable.  He'd kept them shut when he'd confirmed his feelings in the bathtub, and he was doing it again now, which in turn made Persephone tense in anticipation.  What could be worrying him so?  

The answer was surprisingly anticlimactic.  Ares sat up slightly, drawing his sweatshirt over his head and then letting it drop to the floor as he sat back.   She exhaled slowly, controlling the release of her tension so that the action was silent.  

No gaping wound, no massive bruises or injuries.  Nor were there any new scars to add to the collection on his back, which was a relief.   The only difference she could see between now and the last time Persephone seen him shirtless on Olympus was that she could see the outline of his ribs under his skin.  

It wasn't as though he'd lost half his body weight and was now emaciated, but she was looking for the change and had more than a passing acquaintance with what he looked like shirtless.  A stranger might not have noticed it, but she couldn't ignore it.

It seemed he wasn't sleeping or eating as much as he should have.  Part of her wanted to sigh and ask him why he was so determined to make a hard thing even more difficult, but it wouldn't have helped.  Scolding him would only result in him digging in his heels, and she didn't want to fight.  

Stubborn man.  The thought was half affectionate and half annoyed.  Did he think she was so concerned with his looks that she'd be put off by even the slightest change?  

Ignoring her impulse to vanish her clothing, she unbuttoned the lavender fabric of her shirt and shrugged out of it.  She couldn't deny the satisfaction of dropping it, and the blasted bra Ares had previously undone, onto the floor with his sweatshirt.  

Unfortunately, with the fabric that had been holding all of Ares' body heat gone, she found herself suddenly chilled. Scooting forward and stretching out, she laid down on his chest, cushioning her chin with her forearms.  She huffed as his the warmth of his skin began to chase away the chill, tucking her chin to place a kiss against his sternum.

"Have I mentioned how much I missed this?" She murmured, suddenly feeling sheepish as she realized just how forward she'd been in matching his shirtlessness.  "Because I really, really did."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 11th October 2018, 5:10 pm

Ares wasn't sure what he was expecting, but it wasn't for her to unbutton and remove her own shirt. It had been rare for her to take initiative or for her to show such boldness. Each time she did so, something in him would want to encourage her to it more often and found it intoxicating. He looked forward to and enjoyed those moments from her. From her first movement, his gaze had been locked onto her. Between one blink and the next he had a half naked goddess laying atop him once again. Confusion warred with relief at her acceptance. Despite what she may have thought, this was still very new unstable ground. Their relationship had just begun so he was still getting a feeling for it. Unaccustomed as he was to giving or receiving reassurance, it would take time for the foreignness to wear off.

How was it that she had a way of making him feel foolish for torturing himself for doubting her? 'Because you've always been the weakest Olympian.' Wasn't that part of why Kronos had singled him out to influence him? Why out of all of his family he was the only one singularly despised so much? Perhaps he would have been what they wanted had he never had children be they mortal or divine. It had been his children that had started the change in Ares. Yes, some of his offspring had been monsters having inherited his darker aspects. It was the others that created the fissures in his heart and allowed him to get to where he was now.

"I have too," he admitted softly about missing relaxing with Persephone lying next to him skin against skin ignoring the world outside. Idly, he stroked her upper back, taken with how incredible she was. Anyone else would have been exasperated with him and gave up on him long before now. The pessimistic part of his nature was waiting; knowing that for him to have been granted something so marvelous, something equally would inevitably go wrong. It was harder to fight such thoughts when he was alone. Whenever Persephone was around she didn't seem to let him linger on such things.

Not that he was complaining, but a bit of humor coming back to him he had to arch his brow and tease her, "I thought it was the pants you had a problem with though?"
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 11th October 2018, 10:09 pm

This time, the flush that crept up her cheeks was of her own making. She'd acted on impulse without really explaining the logic behind her actions, and she was feeling just the tiniest bit embarrassed. Ares had been looking for reassurance, fearing that the change to his body would make her want him less, and she'd sought to give it. Unfortunately, without words to accompany the body language, she skipped thoughtful and went straight to lustful.

"It seemed unfair to keep the shirt on, and the bra was going eventually," she replied drily, carefully keeping her sheepishness out of her tone. "Besides, you said you liked the jeans, so I figured you wouldn't complain if I kept them on."

She'd intended the gesture to tell him that she didn't care - that the change wrought in him by his punishment didn't change a thing about how she felt about him - but, apparently, it hadn't translated well. For once, she suspected that words would have been the ideal means of communicating her thoughts, but she also doubted she'd have been able to find the right words.

"Besides, isn't this what you're supposed to do when it's cold? Share body heat and all that?" She winked, smiling as his hands ran over the skin of her back, spreading warmth wherever they went.

He had the rather incredible ability to make her feel like she was the only thing that mattered in the world. She'd thought before that it would be a miracle if anyone else could make her feel like he did, and now she was even more convinced. Even just lying here on his chest, blushing and topless because of an impulse decision that hadn't entirely turned out, she still felt as safe and adored as she ever had. She'd never thought she'd feel this much affection for another being either, and yet she found herself warmed and slightly pained by the sheer amount of trust, desire, worry, and adoration that he could bring out of her.

That tends to happen when you love someone, the little voice in the back of her head reminded her drily.

That it does, she thought, tilting her head so that she could see him better. Her gaze roamed over his familiar features, and she wondered, even after the little voice's reminder, if she could drown in everything she felt.

"You do understand that you're the most captivating man I've ever met?" She felt almost shy saying it. She shouldn't - it was apparent from day one that she found him attractive - but she'd never acknowledged it aloud. It wasn't something she was proud of, especially given how little he seemed to think of himself, but she was trying to do better now. If he couldn't see how good he looked with those ever-changing eyes, high cheekbones, and dark curls, then she was going to have to remind him.

"Mortal or otherwise," she added, rolling to the side slightly and removing one arm from under her chin so that she could trace his collarbones with the tips of her index finger.


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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 11th October 2018, 11:56 pm

Words seemed to cause them more miscommunication then anything because one or the other misspoke or weren't clear enough on their thoughts. Ares was guilty of that a lot. Manipulation, insults, misdirection those came naturally to him unlike sincerity. Some part of him had realized what gesture she was trying to make and while they seemed to communicate better without words, this one time he appreciated them. It had been her words coupled with the emotions he could see in her gaze that had convinced him along with her actions.

It seemed she had been studying more than fashion when she'd been peeking in on the mortal realm. Amusement was prevalent in his expression as she talked about sharing body heat. Before he could tease her, she had to go and stop him in his tracks causing his breath to hitch for second as he stared eyes widening.

"You do understand that you're the most captivating man I've ever met? Mortal or otherwise."

Vanity was something he'd been accused of numerous times and he would have agreed. Many of the immortals could be accused of that very same trait. It was one of the reasons the mortals had a hard time resisting them when they caught a deities attention. It was one thing to know on a subconscious level and another to realize it on a conscious one. Ares had been complimented about his looks from mortals and other deities he'd bedded but he'd hardly ever heard it from the one he'd wanted to. When he had it was more to suit her purposes to boost his ego or hers rather than any genuine commitment of feeling.

It was hard to swallow as his chest felt like it had been squeezed by a vice. Why was her giving him a compliment causing this reaction? 'Because she never has before,' was the reply. He'd been the one to always inform her of how desirable he'd found her. The only time she'd come close was when he'd asked if she'd liked what she'd seen and she'd replied she had. It was strange and caused confusion as well as something he couldn't quite name or have the words for. To have reassurance it wasn't just one sided was nice?

Capturing her wrist he paused her movements with her finger, he brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it not knowing what to say in response to her words. Was this how she'd felt whenever he'd stated how he'd felt posed in a quasi question? Falling to their standby he related or tried to what he couldn't say in words with his actions. Letting go of her hand, he cupped her face, and moved forwards to kiss her lips.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 12th October 2018, 1:26 am

She'd never seen his eyes go wide like that, or heard his breath hitch. It seemed her words had hit home, which was a relief. Half of her had been worried that he would scoff and gently reprimand her for her rhetorical question, but she was happy to have been proven wrong.

He'd told her that sadness didn't become her, and it suited him just as well. They'd both had more than enough misery of late, and though it was taking its toll, she refused to let it feed his insecurity. She'd been remiss in not telling him all the things she adored about him sooner. He always put on a good show when it came to confidence - so good that she almost forgot that Olympus hadn't been kind to him either.

Olympus wasn't kind to anyone, but it got worse the further you strayed from the norm. She was married to the second most unpopular figure on the mountain and had inherited his poor reputation on top of all the other behaviours she'd learned to try and survive. He'd been maligned just for doing his job, rejected out of hand because of who he was, and then for trying to find comfort in the arms of a goddess who was promptly married off to another. None of it was fair, not that either of them expected it, but at least they could try and make their own luck for a little while.

It seemed his reaction to her question was the same as hers had been when he'd commented about how gorgeous he found her. Wordlessly, he placed a kiss on the hand he'd stopped from tracing circles on his skin, and then released it in favour of cupping her face and kissing her properly.

She hummed, sitting up slightly to meet him halfway as her arms wove around the back of his neck. They were back to communicating without words again, and she did her best to express exactly how much she cared for him. He already knew - they'd said those three all-important little words just a little while ago - but she figured a little extra reinforcement wouldn't hurt. Especially not when she was determined to remind him that, despite everything changing, nothing of importance had changed.

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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 12th October 2018, 4:56 pm

Used to bottling everything up, putting on a front with emotions contrary to what he was actually experiencing, it was a catharsis to allow what he honestly felt out. She reminded him that he wasn't required to endure this alone, he was permitted to feel and express what was truly happening within him. He was beginning to grasp concepts that had been out of his reach which both terrified and thrilled him in equal measure. They had confided that each loved the other and found them desirable. What he hoped to impart the last time they had been together was it went beyond the physical. She had always embodied beauty, light, and life in his eyes.

The first time they had slept together it had been about pure want and desire. It had grown beyond that by the time they came together once again in his room. It had always been about more than sex with her. He had hoped to communicate that to her unsure if she had understood or if it had gotten lost in translation. Yes, he still desired her but he wanted and craved more. He wanted everything; mind, body, and soul. Because she had his.

Breaking their kisses first, he found it vastly unfair how breathless she made him and how this mortal body lacked compared to what he was used to. His hands had gone to her back, exploring and rememorizing the feel of her. He'd shifted and moved, pulling her onto his lap so that she was straddling him much as she had been in his bedchamber on Olympus. Dropping his head to rest on her shoulder, one of his hands came up to rest where her heart sat. How was she able to make him so content? The one who hadn't known what it was like to be at peace?

Replacing his hand with his lips, he gave her breastbone a nip before kissing it. Smiling against her skin he couldn't stop the mischievous, "I'll be your captive whenever you like."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 13th October 2018, 12:05 am

She couldn't help but marvel at all the different sensations that arose when his skin came into contact with hers. Warmth, slight roughness from his calluses, the tickle of his goatee, the pressure of his hands on her body. It was overwhelming and calming all at once; she couldn't process everything at the same time, but the familiarity of his touch soothed the frayed edges left over from their month apart.

She couldn't imagine how she'd ever gone without this; how she'd managed to stay more or less sane when she'd spent most of her time alone. She felt so awake and alive when she spent time with Ares, and looking back on her time trying to be faithful to her husband made her think that she'd merely been sleepwalking.

Go through the motions. Be a good wife. Be a good daughter. Don't overthink. Don't ask questions.

To hell with that, she thought, laughing against his mouth as he shifted her into his lap. I'm not wasting any more time.

His head dropped to rest against her shoulder, and she couldn't help but lift one hand to stroke his hair. His hand found her heart, pressing over her pulse and making her sigh contentedly. It belonged to him - her heart - and it seemed appropriate that he might be able to feel just how fast he could make it beat.

She leaned down to drop a kiss on the top of his head at the same instant that his teeth closed on the skin of her collarbone and made her gasp. He quickly soothed the sting with a kiss, sending a jolt up her spine.

"I'll be your captive whenever you like."

"Good," she laughed, beginning to alternate stroking his hair with gentle scratches along his scalp and the nape of his neck. "I wasn't planning on letting you go anyway."

A mischievous smile tugged at her lips as she settled more comfortably in his lap. She'd be quite content to hold Ares hostage for as long as they could keep the world at bay, just spending time together and exploring the bond that had sprung up between them. It was shiny and new, and still a little rough around the edges, but the important part was that it was theirs.

No Aphrodite. No Hades. No Demeter. No Zeus. Just Ares and herself building something that was good for them; that made them happy. It had been a few centuries in the making, but she thought it was worth every second of waiting.

"As I said, you're stuck with me now." She giggled, reaching down to pin his wrists together. It took both hands for her to hold him, which made her laugh again when she realized how comical her smaller hands looked trying to immobilize him.



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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 14th October 2018, 1:56 am

A hum of delight came from him as her fingers worked through his hair and scalp. He'd never known how such a simple act could be so enjoyable until she'd done so. He partially blamed the day he spent as a dog and found out how pleasant being petted could be. The rest he knew just came from the pleasure of her touch alone. Be he mortal or divine it seemed his skin was sensitive whenever it came in contact with hers causing him to feel whole.

Hearing that she wasn't planning on letting him go caused the warmth he felt to increase as well as his heartbeat. A fond smile graced his face as his eyes lit up with amusement and affection as she resettled in his lap. Seeing the expression on her face caused his brow to arch wondering what was going on in her devious mind.

"As I said, you're stuck with me now." The sentence caused a pang in his heart that was only slightly alleviated by her giggle and the fact that she didn't know what that sentence meant for him. Her delight caused an answering euphoria to surge through him. Ares loved when she laughed. He was intent to prolong the alluring sound but as if she could read his mind, she had taken his wrists in her hands. Arching a brow, his lip curled up nearly laughing but intrigued by what she would do next. They both knew he could easily break her hold on him, but he was willing to play her game. A playful, confident, and daring Persephone was always a sight to behold and experience. He counted it his pleasure and a gift that it seemed he was the only one to have seen these sides of her.

"Who says I would want it any other way, highness?" He would gladly be 'stuck' with her for eternity. Refraining from moving his hands, he allowed a vulpine smile to cross his face before he gave into the temptation to place a nip at her the top of her sternum. His tongue and mouth soon was placed over the spot, he wondered how long she'd allow him to ply alternating nips and kisses along her skin that he could reach. Two could play the teasing game.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 14th October 2018, 11:10 am

There was no way that he didn't know what that soft, fond smile - the one he seemed to save just for her- did to her. Even the slightest tilt of his lips, especially when he looked at her like he was, tended to cause that treacherous muscle - and her brain - to short out. It wasn't fair that such a simple action could have so much power over her, but she wouldn't trade it for anything. She loved that it was something he did just for her - something that very few people had been lucky enough to see.

He arched one raven brow, wordlessly questioning what she was going to do now that she had him captive, and she couldn't quite decide what her answer would be. She was half tempted to hold his hands away from her body and lean back out of the reach of his kisses if only to tease him and make him growl. It wasn't as though he wasn't doing the same thing to her - nipping at her sternum and soothing the tiny bites with kisses, making her gasp at the mix of sensations - but she also didn't think she could be that patient. She'd managed to ignore her craving for his touch since she'd left his rooms on Olympus, but now that that particular itch could be scratched, she wasn't inclined to deny it.

"Just thought I should give you fair warning," she replied impishly, the words followed by a sigh as he pressed another kiss to her skin.

Releasing his wrists, she laced the fingers of one hand with his as the other hand came up to cup his jaw, interrupting his kisses and guiding his lips to hers. She kissed him deeply, capturing his free hand in her own and pinning the backs of both his hands against the cushion behind him. Leaning forward to ensure that he couldn't just slip out of her hold, she began to trail kisses from his lips, across his cheek to his ear.

"I should also give you fair warning that turnabout is still fair play," she murmured in his ear in between feather-light kisses placed on his jawline.

It was a testament to how safe he made her feel that she felt comfortable enough to be bold. Being anything other than meek and passive with her husband and her father was nearly impossible, and dangerous. The only other male deity she could be herself around was Hermes, and that was because he was the closest thing she'd ever had to a sibling. Even her infatuation with Adonis hadn't been able to coax her out of her shell this far.

"You can be patient, can't you?" She teased, returning to catch his lower lip in her teeth and tugging lightly.


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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 14th October 2018, 2:45 pm

'Fair warning?' he wondered taking note of her tone which caused his heart to leap in anticipation. He barely registered that his wrists had been released until his fingers naturally curled around hers when they met. While he was a bit put out for being interrupted, excitement overruled it, as well as satisfaction as his lips met hers. It wasn't until the minx had leaned into him, removed her lips from his did he realize that she had ensured that he wouldn't be moving his hand to touch her at all. She knew how much he liked to explore her body with his hands. The soft toned words spoken in his ear caused Ares to shiver as a spike of desire went through him taking all his will not to remove his hands from her grip.

"You can be patient, can't you?" A low sound was pulled from him as she abused his lip. His eyes darkened with want as they focused on her mouth, breathing a bit different then it had been a moment ago.

The question was almost lost in the haze as his mind wanted to shut and allow just instincts to override all thought. Something about patience? It struck something in his memory that they'd had a conversation about his inability of said trait. Unless it was something he really wanted. Depending on what it was it could go either way. Ares knew how to be patient, but he also knew there were times you had to strike or lose an opportune moment. For this, he'd waited a very long time and seemed to be torture that he'd have to endure it even longer.

Rather than try and answer, he'd leaned forward to try and take control, but barely brushed his lips with hers before she was pulling back causing him to near growl with impatience and need. As much as he was intrigued by where she might take this, the primal part of him wanted to take control, reverse their potions. This was what they did though wasn't it? Work the other one up until they were at the precipice, pushing and pulling to get the other to jump first. Licking his lip he knew that he enjoyed her taking the initiative but he wasn't sure how long he could hold out until he had to slake his thirst from what he'd been denied for the past month. He'd already forgotten she'd asked a question so there was no sarcastic return.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 14th October 2018, 9:54 pm

Something was thrilling about teasing Ares. Perhaps it was the frustrated growls she could draw out of him or the way his eyes seemed to go dark when his blood was up. Either way, she found herself laughing with delight as he leaned in to try and take control, only for her to shift back out of his reach.

She didn't think she'd ever felt more beautiful than she did when his gaze was on her. There was a weight to it that made her feel important - like she was the only person he'd ever really seen before. In truth, he was one of the few who'd seen her without her walls up to protect herself, so it was an apt description she supposed.

She'd likened him to a wolf when they'd last gone to bed together in his chambers on Olympus, and she found that the description was still accurate. There was hunger in his gaze that made her stomach lurch in anticipation, and she knew all too well that, if he were so inclined, she'd let him eat her alive without a second thought.

Unconsciously she mirrored his gesture, licking her lips as she considered the weight of his gaze. She was still undecided about whether or not to try and draw this out - to tease him until one of them couldn't stand it any longer and pulled the other over the edge with them - or to give in and fulfill the thing they'd both been missing for so long.

"What happened to patience?" She laughed, squeezing his hands as she contemplated the choice. Who knew that choosing between fulfilling a craving and delayed gratification would be so hard?

Part of her felt cruel for playing games when they'd both clearly been missing this particular aspect of their relationship, but she also couldn't quite bring herself to spoil her own fun. There was something almost amusing about both of them suffering the same frustration within inches of one another.

Misery loves company, the little voice in her head supplied.

The mortal idiom could be blamed on the romance novels she'd made the mistake of reading, but she had to admit that the saying was apt. If she were going to suffer, even by her own choice, she'd rather be suffering with Ares than alone.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 14th October 2018, 11:35 pm

Ares' gaze darted down to her mouth when her tongue poked out, before glancing back to her eyes straining against the compulsion to remove his hands from her grip so he could satisfy his need to touch her. It was a desire that went deep and he had no idea how long he could contain it before either one or the other took the plunge.

"What happened to patience?" It seemed she wanted to play some more, and perhaps they could, but at the moment he was at his stressing point.

"I don't like waiting when I really want something," he reminded her. And she was something he'd been wanting for centuries and had finally been given before it was taken from him once again. He had been more than tolerant and as much as he didn't want to undermine her confidence, Ares could no longer deny his instincts. Rolling his wrists towards her thumbs forced her to let go and he wasted no time to place them at her waist, fingers hooking into her belt loops to pull her closer as he slid his leg down to join his other one. Ardently he claimed her mouth and deepened the kiss, taking pleasure in the fact that she didn't fight him.

It was the necessity to breathe that once again forced his mouth from hers briefly as he breathed a bit harder, his pupils fully dilated as he gazed at her in mixed devotion and lust. His hands went to rest in his favorite places on her back as he turned so that he could have them falling to the couch so he could pin the goddess under him. Returning her torture from earlier had a wicked smirk come to his face as he kissed a trail down her skin deciding that as lovely as the pants were on her, they needed to come off. Ares derived pleasure from the sounds that he heard coming from her and looked up at her as his hands which hadn't still did so at her waist. He wanted to divest them of the rest of their barriers and his brain was working enough to know her boots would cause a problem and those needed to come off first otherwise they'd run into a problem. Sitting back, he glared at the offending foot wear. "Those need to come off."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 15th October 2018, 12:32 am

"I don't like waiting when I really want something."

He'd told her that before, yet she still found herself giggling as he broke free of her hold and used the loops around the waist of her jeans to yank her closer. With her hands freed, she was able to drape her arms across his shoulders and press herself as close as she could get.  If she'd had her way, they would have been plastered together from hip to chest until the lines that divided her form from Ares' began to blur.

There was no winning or losing the game that they played.  The outcome was always the same, but the person who pushed the other to their breaking point got added satisfaction.  She'd won this time, but she was sure that, given enough time, Ares would find a way to keep himself just out of her reach until she couldn't bear the anticipation and wanting anymore.

Not that it mattered in the slightest.  Once Ares' lips were on hers, and his hands were freely roaming her back, Persephone couldn't be bothered to remember her name, let alone who had won the game of teasing.  All she knew was that his lips were on her skin, kissing a trail downward as his weight pinned her to the cushions.  Her breath came in soft pants as her fingers wound into his hair, combing through the curls as she arched into him in an attempt to get closer.

"Those need to come off."

She made an aborted noise of protest as he sat up and removed himself from her grip, concealing it with a laugh as she realized he was indicating her boots.  She'd forgotten they were there - a testament to their comfort, or to Ares' charms she supposed - and she wasn't about to complain about what might result from their removal.  

"As you command," she replied drily, propping herself up on one elbow and snapping the middle finger of her free hand against the thumb.  Black leather disappeared between one blink and the next, taking with it the thick socks she'd worn to insulate her feet.  Perhaps it was unkind to remind Ares of what he didn't have, but she didn't think he'd mind too much if she hurried things along.  Neither of them was in a mood to be patient, and if he was hurt, she could always make amends.  

"Better?"  She arched an eyebrow, seizing the opportunity to appreciate the man before her with open abandon.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 15th October 2018, 4:54 pm

"Much," came his satisfied answer grateful the impediment had been removed. Giving her a wolfish grin he made quick work of ridding them of the last obstructions. Temptation to tease her warred with his other impulses. His mind was made up when she reached for his wrist and pulled him to her much like she had the first time they had come together in her rooms on Olympus. Much like then their coupling was of need and want yet there was a deeper connection that had been absent then.

Ares knew one of the many stories mortals spread of their creation by his father. The one that had more recently stuck in his mind but he would never voice to anyone was of the one about how mortals tried to rationalize seeking ones 'soul mate'. About how his father fearing the power of the mortals - who once had been two headed and eight limbed - had cleaved them in half causing them to forever be missing and searching for their lost half. While he'd scoffed at such notions before, it had given him pause when it came to how he felt towards Persephone.

The lethargy that came with being satiated and the assuring sense of contentment had Ares relaxing completely into sleep. He didn't rouse until the pulsing pain in his skull forced him to silently swear. Keeping his eyes shut he wanted to rage at the Erinyes and the Fates. Why? Why couldn't it have stayed away until after Persephone's visit was through?

'Because you're not allowed to be happy.' It seemed to be true. Any time he had something good it didn't last. His 'reward' for being who he was seemed to be the brief respites between everything turning to ash.

The oily taste in the back of his throat was the warning and incentive he needed to move. Severely wishing he hadn't opened his eyes Ares winced mentally cursing Apollo and his predecessor wishing they would dim the damn sun. Untangling his limbs from Persephone's or trying to had them both go over onto the floor. Wincing as that did nothing good for the throbbing pain already in his head, and it slightly hurt to land on the floor, he felt he was allowed an, "Ow."

Feeling an urgency, he didn't even attempt an apology as he made for the bathroom half his mind focused on getting there the other half hoping she would think him on auto pilot. Ensuring he locked the door - not that it would do any good really - but gave him a false sense of security as it was meant to. He made sure both the fan and shower were on before he allowed himself to sink to his knees and giving in to his body's desire to try and expel what little was in his stomach. He'd experienced a hangover before and he was undecided which was worse. At least with making yourself sick by over indulgence on intoxicating drinks you knew the pain was fleeting and would end by the end of the day. The Erinyes curse wasn't as predictable.

When he was sure he could stand without a repeat, he grabbed one of the needles from the medicine cabinet. Once injected and the used needle thrown into the bin, he began his usual morning routine only halting once to press his head against the cool tiles of the shower. He hated how the effects made his brain feel as if it were being fried with electricity. He'd taken one of his father's bolts before and that was what he likened the feeling to. The only up side was it acted faster than any of the pills which he wasn't certain he'd be able to keep down just yet.

Exiting the bathroom with the towel around his waist he paused staring into the living room. How was he supposed to explain what had happened? 'Maybe you should put pants on first?' Taking the advice, he turned to the bedroom to do just that.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 17th October 2018, 10:56 pm

Satisfaction and the comfort of Ares' arms made for a powerful sedative, but as the now-mortal god drifted off to sleep again, she found herself rising from the sofa to explore the tiny apartment, careful not to disturb him.

Her earlier assessment of the place had been correct. The apartment contained the absolute bare minimum for survival - a bedroom, a bathroom, the tiny kitchen, and the living room. It was no wonder Ares was so miserable. The place was a shoebox, even for someone used to living in a warrior's minimal quarters, and she could only imagine that he was bored beyond all reason with staring at the same four white walls.

She also availed herself of the tiny bathroom, smoothing her tangled curls as best she could and splashing water on her face. It hardly mattered - she doubted Ares cared about the knots in her hair or the rosy flush on her cheeks (quite the opposite in the case of the latter - she knew he liked how she looked flushed) - but it made her feel better.

Returning to the sofa, she curled herself around him and let the soothing rhythm of his heartbeat lull her into a light doze.

-

He woke her sometime later as he attempted to disentangle himself from her. Still half asleep and blinking blearily, she tried to move her limbs to give him space to no avail. Their balance shifted on the cushion, and she found herself wide-eyed, falling onto his chest.

"Ow."

She'd never heard him make a noise of pain before, let alone voice his discomfort aloud, but before she could find words to make sure the fall hadn't hurt him he'd gotten up and was heading for the bathroom in a manner that suggested it was best if she didn't interrupt him.

"What on earth?" She muttered, hearing the lock on the bathroom door click home as she pushed herself up from the floor to stare dazedly at the door that now separated him.

Perhaps the God of War just wasn't a morning person, or maybe he was late for an appointment. She couldn't imagine that he was upset with her this early in the morning when she hadn't had a chance to so much as wish him good morning.

Huffing, she hoisted herself onto the sofa, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands to rouse herself. Even if Ares was upset, surely it wasn't anything that a simple apology couldn't fix. If he was embarrassed because he'd fallen asleep, or frustrated with the fact that she still had powers and he didn't, she was sure they would work it out eventually. Scooping his discarded sweatshirt off of the floor, she pulled it over her head, inhaling his familiar smoky scent.

It took a surprisingly long time for him to emerge from the bathroom, hair damp and a towel wrapped around his waist. He paid her no mind, walking past her and into the bedroom without saying a word. His focus worried her, but she still couldn't imagine what was bothering him so much. Had she forgotten to do something? Had she said something? Suddenly the worry she'd been trying to ignore was front and center in her mind.

Rising from the sofa, she crossed to the doorway and knocked tentatively, tugging the sweatshirt ineffectively down around the tops of her thighs before giving up and willing herself into her clothes from the day before. The jeans were still too snug, but she couldn't be bothered.

"Ares?" She called, leaning on the wall beside the door. "Is everything okay?"

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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 18th October 2018, 12:08 am

Focusing on making sure that he didn't make any sudden fast movements, Ares tried to control his breathing. While the medication was coursing through him, it wasn't a fix all. His punishment made sure that even if he was able to dampen the pain down to a bearable level it never left quietly nor quickly. He was just really hoping that his experience of having to put up with the pain for four days, wasn't going to repeat itself any time soon. Knowing his luck it would make sure to stick around to harass him especially as he now had something to look forward to in this dismal existence.

The knocks were soft, but with the headache everything was magnified so it sounded much louder causing him to wince at the unexpected noise. The dread he was feeling intensified as he heard his name from her and the unavoidable question. Turning, he saw that she was back in the clothes from yesterday but more importantly she had her back to him, which caused a small breath of relief. Seems like he was partially successful with muffling the noise with the fan and shower otherwise she wouldn't be as calm, he was sure.

'Everything's just peachy, just feel as if my head wants to try and imitate a nuclear explosion,' would go over as well as a lead balloon. He owed her an explanation though if he still planned on trying to make this work. It would be so easy to push her away, lie, and hurt her. The pain made it easier to be irritated and he knew from past experience that when they got snippy with each other it never led to anything pleasant. He'd made a promise though...even if it was only to himself and he'd be the only one who would know he broke it.

"Give me five minutes?" He requested not only to delay his answer to give him time to think, but he would likely need that just to get dressed. He was proud that he'd been able to keep his voice even.

'Screw it,' he thought forgoing everything but the sweatpants that were on the bed he'd never changed into last night. He really didn't feel like trying to put on more clothing than he had to. His eyes narrowed as he felt his stomach constrict and he fought to keep from leaping up. 'No, no, no.' This was not good. Panicked, he saw that Persephone hadn't moved, so he buried his face in the towel and tried to control his breathing and force his body to co-operate. He didn't have anything left to come up! It seemed like his body didn't care and thought it would be the best way to temporarily relieve the pressure in his head. He wanted to scream in frustration and rage, but he couldn't. It was inevitable, he didn't want to have to try and bypass her, and as his stomach was empty anyway, Ares knew he wouldn't be actually throwing up in the towel, he gave in and allowed his body to dry heave.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 24th October 2018, 6:50 pm

"Give me five minutes?"

It wasn't quite an answer. Ares sounded okay, but it still hadn't ruled out the possibility that he was upset with her or because of something else. Then again, she supposed it was better than no answer at all.

Shifting off of the wall with a sigh, she padded back to the sofa and curled herself onto the cushions. Part of her wanted to badger him, to make sure he truly was okay, but she'd also resolved to try and pry less. She knew her constant questions and inability to let sleeping dogs lie was a thorn in his side, so she was trying to do better, at least in that respect.

Minutes passed, and she found herself staring at the ceiling as she waited for him to emerge from the bedroom. Her worry and curiosity nagged at her, itching like a rash that she couldn't scratch as she stared at the bumpy white surface and tried to find constellations in it.

He's worth a little patience, isn't he? She reminded herself, rolling over onto her side and pillowing her head on her arm when she grew bored of the ceiling. His jacket was still on the coffee table, so she sat up and picked it up, smoothing the leather as she laid it over the arm of the couch with her own. Underneath were a few yellowing newspapers, one of which she grabbed and began to leaf through, looking for something - anything, really - that would keep her attention off of Ares until he returned.

Most of the articles were thoroughly bland - discussing this politician, or that economic problem - and yet somehow she found herself engrossed in them. There was a surprising amount of complexity once she actually read beyond the headline, and she found herself frowning as she struggled to understand exactly why 'mortgage rates' were such a big issue.

As the article ended and the next began, she was no closer to understanding exactly what a mortgage was, or why someone would need one, but the accompanying graphs had certainly been interesting. On instinct, she looked up over the top of the paper at the bedroom doorway, which was still empty. She could just see one of Ares' sweatpant-clad calves from where she sat, so she forced her attention back to the article.

Leave him be. Don't be nosy. She scolded herself, tucking her legs up under her as she began to read.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 24th October 2018, 9:37 pm

If he knew what she was doing in the other room and he wasn't in agony, Ares would have been thoroughly amused to find the goddess reading a mortal newspaper only to be puzzled over something such mortgages. As it was the former god was trying his best to keep from making any noise that he could, knuckles of his fingers white from how tightly he clutched the towel to near suffocating himself as he stayed hunched over. Chest hurting, he lay back on the bad feeling drained and weak and wondering if he'd be able to find a way to fake nothing was wrong. If he was extremely lucky and fate was feeling benevolent towards him, it would pass and he'd be fine by midday. Ares would just have to hold himself together and keep up the act until that time.

Grateful that Persephone had decided to not enter, it gave him time to figure out what he was going to say to her as well. While he was appreciative of the reprieve of her questions and curiosity, it caused him to wonder what had caused her to refrain. Slowly sitting up, he waited and when he didn't react, stood and after consideration grabbed a t-shirt just in case. Leaning against the door frame of the bedroom, he looked over at where his guest was on the couch. Letting her be, he went past to the kitchen to find something to try and appease the headache and keep from getting dehydrated. It was now, that he wished he'd not procrastinated on going shopping, but it couldn't be helped. He hardly kept anything in the cupboards in any case. He frowned as he saw the cold cup of coffee from last night he'd tried to occupy himself with when he'd thought he'd been hallucinating.

Turning on the kettle, he went to rinse out the mug but ended up mentally berating himself for not taking the spoon out when he'd dumped it in the sink to drain the contents of the mug. The sound of metal against metal sounded much louder and worse than it was causing his head to throb as he winced eyes shutting, and hands gripping the counter. It was then he'd realized he hadn't heard the movement of paper, and felt a sense of dread as he opened his eyes and turned to see that she was watching him from her position on the couch.

'Hells,' thought. He'd effectively gave her the cold shoulder since he'd woken. It hadn't been his intention, but he didn't think either one of them would have like the results if he'd not left in such a hurry. By the same token he hadn't wanted her to think that he no longer wanted her here. Clearing his throat he lamely stated, "Making tea..."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 25th October 2018, 1:03 am

Her attention switched from the article she was reading to him the minute movement flashed in her peripheral vision. He was moving gingerly, it seemed, and her brows drew together as she watched him walk to the kitchen and wordlessly begin to tidy up.

He hadn't said a word since he'd asked her for time, and she was beginning to worry in earnest now that she'd upset him somehow. She also feared that, if she did say anything, it might spoil things somehow. The sound of metal on metal made them both flinch, and her frown deepened.

He didn't scare easily, so why was he jumping at something as small as a sound? He'd startled when she approached him the night before too, and she wondered if he thought he was hallucinating again. He'd seemed lucid after his first nap, and it didn't seem likely that a proper amount of sleep would make him feel worse instead of better.

"So I see," she replied, folding the newspaper and setting it down before she turned to lay her arms along the top of the sofa, resting her chin on top of them.

She didn't know what to say to him. She was trying not to pry, but what else could she do? Something wasn't right, even if she couldn't put her finger on what exactly, and it was beginning to scare her a little. Everything had seemed okay before he'd gotten up so suddenly this morning, but maybe she'd missed it because she was so excited to see him again.

Stranger things had happened. It was no secret that he was incredibly distracting to her at the best of times.

"Did you want me to leave you be for a while?" She asked, tucking her hair behind her ear as she watched him move around the kitchen. "I know I arrived unannounced last night. I didn't mean to put a wrench in your plans for the day." A sheepish half-smile tugged at her lips. For all that she liked to think that she was different from the rest of the deities on Olympus, she still shared several qualities with them - one of which was her forgetfulness regarding anyone else's plans.

"Old habits die hard," she laughed softly, fighting the urge to tuck her chin and attempt to hide behind her arms and the back of the sofa. Whatever was going unsaid between them was quickly becoming uncomfortable, and she wished she'd had the sense not to try and joke around. From what she could tell, her weak attempt at humour had only made things more awkward.

Well done, Persephone, she thought with a sigh, tilting her head to settle her cheek against her arm.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 25th October 2018, 8:02 pm

It seemed she didn't know what to say either after her initial response to his lack of explination. Ares did not want them to end up at an impasse because of miscommunication. He wanted this to work! From the beginning he'd had doubts and fears that whatever he and Persephone had would unravel and she would see she'd made a mistake. Slowly those fears and doubts had been allieviated and soothed. They'd come back with a vengeance when he was banished here.

She had come though, and she had stayed. She had tried to ease his some of his fears that she would abandon him or that she felt differently. As she had stated, she knew what his sentence had been as she'd been at his uncle's side during the trial. Yet, he couldn't help trying to keep his condition from her. Weakness was not something to broadcast or allow others to see.

'She's already seen you weak. You already admitted it to her.' He tried to argue that that had been different.

'How?'

'It just is!'

As he argued with himself, he shut the burner off he was using when he saw steam erupting from the kettle. Putting it on a cold burner he didn't need or want the sharp sound of its whistle to try and split his head open. Three hours. He just had to endure for three hours and he'd know if it was going to get better or worse.

'You know the odds of it getting better.'

'Shut up!' He did know the likelihood but that had never stopped him before.

He froze when Persephone spoke again, fear and panic gripping his heart. She wanted to leave? Plans? If he had any before, they had been interrupted not by her, but by the terms of his sentence.

"Old habits die hard."

That they were. Swallowing, he stared down at the scarred counter top and sighed. It was hard to go against your nature as well or to change. Even though it was difficult, he'd been trying! It wasn't easy to allow someone so much influence over him, especially voluntarily. He didn't want her to feel obligated. He had to give her a choice though didn't he?

"Its my day off," he finally managed. Picking up his cup, he carefully made his way to the couch, setting the steaming mug on the coffee table. Resting his head against the back of the couch he voiced something he always wondered. "Is there a reason you favor blue?"

It seemed to him that though she wore different shades of blue, that was the color she wore most often. He'd never found out why it was her preferance. He had a thought, but wasn't sure if he was off the mark or not.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 27th October 2018, 10:51 pm

It seemed she hadn't interrupted anything significant, which she supposed was a relief. She'd have felt guilty if she'd prevented Ares from doing anything he needed to.

A small victory, she thought, half smiling as she swivelled to face him when he joined her on the couch. He set a steaming mug down on the table before them, and she found herself watching for patterns in the swirls of vapour that drifted up from it.

She'd expected small talk, even though neither of them seemed to care for it. Instead, Ares started with a question.

"Is there a reason you favor blue?"

She shrugged in response. There wasn't a particular reason that she wore any colour. She liked the richness of colour at all times of the year, but different seasons called for different colours. Spring was pinks and greens, summer deep orange and yellow. Fall was rusty browns and reds, and winter was deep teals and navy.

"They just suit my mood and the season, I suppose." She replied, drawing her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them as she settled more comfortably into the cushions. "I'm hardly going to wear colours as happy as orange or red in the Underworld now am I?"

She didn't tell him that she associated blue and purple with him - that she wore the colours to keep him close. He'd have called her foolish for such a simple gesture, but it made her feel better. She'd taken to wearing amethyst jewellery for a while after his trial, but the rings had caught in her hair, and she'd had to give it up.

It was stupid, but she couldn't help it.

"Would you mind if I stayed a while then?" She asked, almost feeling shy in the face of the thing that still went unsaid between them. She wouldn't pry, but she also wasn't ready to leave. For the first time, the Olympian world couldn't bother them. The world outside the door would stay there until they let it back in.

After a moment of silence, she took a deep breath. "Is something wrong?" She asked, the words soft with an unspoken apology. She'd promised herself she wouldn't pry, but she couldn't stand dancing around the elephant in the room any longer. "You're...Quiet this morning."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 27th October 2018, 11:26 pm

So he'd actually been correct then in assumption of why she wore the color blue. To know that he'd gotten that right caused a small surge of mixed delight and relief that he'd been able to interpret her actions correctly. While he supposed she was right about not wearing 'happy' colors when you were anything but, it was a strange notion for him. He wasn't one to talk as his wardrobe pre-banishment contained naught but black with the occasional grey. His current wardrobe was seriously lacking color as well, even if he'd branched out they were still rather on the darker color spectrum.

"I asked you to stay, didn't I?" Of course he'd asked that when he'd just realized he wasn't hallucinating. While logically he knew that he'd given her any reason but to think he didn't want her there this morning, he didn't want her to go. Part of it was fear; fear of her not coming back, fear of her deciding this wasn't worth putting up with; that he wasn't. He did have a habit of complicating matters. Just as he'd promised when they had parted last, he would not hold her to her promise and wouldn't think any worse of her if she decided to leave.

Then came the dreaded question. "Is something wrong?"

He nearly laughed at her comment about him being quiet. It was almost like when she'd not realized that he could sit still for a length of time. Ares sighed, and thought so much for his three hours to try and avoid the topic. It seemed his reprieve was over. Catching sight of his jeans from last night, he kicked them under the table resolving to pick them up later. Something seemed wrong with the sight but he shrugged it off for later.

'We could be here awhile if you answer that one.'

Refusing to look at her, he bit out, "You recall that I am cursed?" Unable to control the sarcastic laugh then the grimace of pain from that his hand had automatically gone to his head. "Seems they have as much of a twisted sense of humor and irony as my mother."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 28th October 2018, 1:14 am

"You'd also just realized that I wasn't a hallucination," she reminded him gently, a half-smile quirking her lips. Things between them were solidifying, yes, but she'd prefer to be safe than sorry. The last thing she wanted to do was overstay her welcome and damage the one good thing she had.

She regretted the question. Ares' hand went to his temple as a bitter laugh escaped him. She hadn't heard that specific tone from him in a while, and she'd have liked to keep it that way, but it was the grimace of pain that made her wince in sympathy.

"I know," she replied softly, unwinding her arms and moving to sit cross-legged. She wanted to touch him, but she didn't know if the pain was limited to his head. The Erinyes were crafty, and it seemed they'd outdone themselves this time. It wouldn't be beyond them to curse Ares with chronic pain to go with his hallucinations and other troubles.

"Can I help?" She asked, forcing her hands onto her knees so that they weren't merely hovering in midair, fluttering uselessly and betraying her indecision about what she should do. She didn't want him to hurt, but she wasn't Asclepius, and he wasn't a plant. If he were, she'd know what to do. Rotting leaves or dehydration she could fix, but human anatomy was far beyond her ken.

"Or is this one of those moments where being quiet would be helpful?" It was only half a joke, but fully sheepish. Mortal pains were not something she was familiar with, and she was perfectly okay with deferring to his judgement on this particular subject. She'd swum in the deep end and survived, but Ares' well-being was not something she wanted to run rough-shod over.

Words wouldn't help, so she reverted to her previous indecision about whether or not it was safe to touch him. Lifting one hand from her knee, she placed it against his shoulder ever so lightly, rubbing circles into the material of his t-shirt and his skin below while remaining poised to jerk her hand back at the slightest indication that she was making things worse.

"I'm sorry you're hurting," she murmured, hand sliding up to the back of his neck and beginning to rub gently at the spot where his neck met his shoulder.

She was half tempted to blame herself. If she'd spoken up during the trial, perhaps she could have spared him this. Argued for a more lenient sentence. Not that anyone would have listened to the shrinking figure hidden behind Hades' right shoulder. It was an idiotic idea, but it occurred to her nonetheless.

Even if you had, the Erinyes would have come up with something else to make him pay, she thought with a grimace. You may be Queen of the Underworld, but even your leash only extends so far.
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 28th October 2018, 2:13 am

Despite the pain he was feeling, his lips quirked at Persephone being herself with the constant questions. At her touch he wasn't sure what she was going to do but then it dawned on him as her fingers moved in a particular pattern. He hummed in response to her fingers on his neck, shutting his eyes automatically, allowing her to help as she could. As always, whenever she and he were skin to skin, he felt a bit better even if it wasn't physically. There were few times that he was on the receiving end of a massage never had he gotten one by Persephone. Opening his eyes as an idea came to him, he reached up and took her hand in his placing a kiss on it so she would know that he wasn't upset with her or refusing to be touched. Locking their fingers together, he carefully stood up and gave her a gentle tug, eyes alight and his mouth curving into a smile. "I have a way you can help."

While he could have let her give him the massage on the couch, it would be much more convenient if they proceeded to the bedroom. "If you're going to give a massage, you'll have to dig a little bit deeper, highness."

Ares didn't let go until they were in the bedroom. Laying down he shoved the pillows off the end of the bed onto the floor and was glad when she hadn't hesitated to sit at his side and reapply her hands to his neck. He made a noise of approval at the added pressure instead of the lighter circles she'd been rubbing earlier. The silence wasn't as tense as it had been earlier, but it still put him on edge. He needed something more to distract himself so ended up saying the first thing that came to his mind unsure if she would answer and nearly laughed at the lameness of it. "How have you been?"

While she was coming to know how his month had pretty much went, he was curious to know how she was really doing. How she had kept herself occupied aside from the obvious of training Rex which could only eat up so much of her time. Maybe he should have asked her a different question but that one was equally as pitiful as the previous one. In case she didn't want to answer and because he just really needed the distraction, he added, "I need you to talk to me."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 28th October 2018, 4:43 pm

It was a relief to know that there was something she could do to help that wouldn't make him hurt worse than he already was. He made himself comfortable on the bed, tossing the pillows onto the floor as she hopped up and resumed kneading the back of his neck and shoulders.

It was such a simple thing, and it soothed her as much as it seemed to do the same for him. Feeling the solidness of his body under her hands was a very welcome reminder that she wasn't dreaming or hallucinating either - he was real, this was all real, and for the moment all was more or less well in the world.

She was using her thumbs to rub down the sides of his neck where it joined his shoulders, focusing on any tight spots she encountered there when he asked her how she'd been. She remained silent, considering her answer as she moved her hands outwards to knead at his shoulders and upper back.

"I need you to talk to me."


Whether to distract him from the pain, or to keep him from falling asleep again, she didn't mind talking to fill the silence. The problem was, she didn't know what to say. What could she say? That she'd been miserable without him, even with Rex to keep her company, and Olympus was rapidly devolving into an even bigger mess than it had been when he left?

"Things have been...Different," she replied after a moment, pausing her massage to comb a section of his hair back into place with the tips of her fingers. "Rex has been a help, and I'm not minding being in the Underworld so much."

It wasn't much of a contest in her mind. Be alone in the Underworld with plenty of space to herself and Rex to keep her company, or be on Olympus where it seemed every day brought a new disaster and too many watchful eyes. She'd take the Underworld any day.

"Needless to say this visit is a welcome break from everything that's been going on." It was peaceful and safe here, or at least she thought so. She couldn't speak for him, but it felt like a weight had lifted from her chest the minute they'd walked through the door and closed it behind them.

"I needed to leave the rest of the world behind for a while."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 6th November 2018, 2:46 pm

Ares nearly hissed in pain once or twice as she eased the knots out of his muscle, the relief left behind made it worth it. It wasn't until he had spoken that he had realized it was the same thing she had asked him when she likely didn't know what else to say last night. He had missed her as well as her voice. Her talking would help him focus more exclusively on her rather than the pain and the voices in his head.

Although he was wondering if perhaps he shouldn't have spoken he did want to know how she was and how she was holding up knowing how not only the Olympians could be, but the rest of the pantheon. Nor did he want her to feel pressured to talk if she did not want to. The debate over if he should lift his head from where it rested on his forearms to find out if he should alter what he said, she spoke, ceasing that concern.

While he was interested to know what she meant by different he kept his curiosity silent as he listened. Was Hermes the one keeping her apprised of Olympus' goings on? Hopefully it wasn't her mother although with the changes he'd seen in Persephone he was sure she was more than capable of handling her own.

Ares was happy and relieved to know that Rex was causing her some comfort. That had been the whole point of getting the mutt for her aside from assuaging some of his guilt from tricking her. Hopefully her new pet hadn't caused her any problems from anyone. That Hades let her keep the pup meant the goddess had mixed truth with whatever story she fed her husband.

"I'm glad I could prove such a distraction for you, highness." His lips quirked into an amused smile. Recalling a previous conversation that had turned sour, he voiced, "The vacation spot is less than ideal, unfortunately."

While it was still a sore subject, it didn't cut as deep as it had before. He wondered if it was because the dynamic of their relationship had shifted and transformed into what it was now. A lot had changed since their discussion in the alcove of the observation hall. While he still balked at allowing her in, she already knew he was damaged. What he had never expected was that she would be able to sift through those broken pieces and dull some of those sharp edges.

"Machu Pichhu was fun," he recalled having no idea how it had changed in the thousand or so years since he'd been there.

He'd gone there when he had needed a break from Olympus. Whenever he grew bored of the dreary, he would go find or cause trouble. It was so easy to manipulate someone here or there to get a riot going, especially if they were already spoiling for a fight and just needed that extra push to snap the last string of restraint. It helped that the inhabitants had been warring at the time. Slipping amongst them, donning the form of one of their warriors, encouraging them; that had been exhilarating! Whenever he felt as if he was slipping into the complacency of just existing, that was when he would purposefully cause chaos. It was his way of feeling alive and doing something rather than sitting on the sidelines passively waiting for some form of entertainment to come along.

There was guilt that sprang up at her words as much as amusement. Persephone had come to visit and he wasn't being a very good host. First he'd inadvertently hurt her treating her as a hallucination then giving her the cold shoulder after they had reconnected and now this. There was an urge to apologize coupled with an equal one that knew he didn't need to and didn't want to. Instead he decided to let her know how he felt as he had yet to express that. Uncaring how soft it made him appear (they both already knew he had) he didn't hide the relief or wonder as he voiced, "I'm glad you came. That you stayed."
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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Holly on 22nd November 2018, 8:59 pm

Persephone exhaled through her nose, feeling tension fade from her own shoulders as her hands worked over Ares'. Something was soothing about just sitting here talking with him as though they didn't have a care in the world besides his tense muscles. It was a welcome change from the stress and worry of life on Olympus and in the Underworld, despite his disdain about the location of their meeting place.

"It's not so bad," she replied earnestly, rubbing circles from the nape of his neck down to the base of his spine with her thumbs, pausing only to knead gingerly at a particularly stubborn knot below his shoulder blades. She could think of much worse places to be than an apartment in New York that would keep the world at bay for a little while. He'd spent more time here than she had, and she suspected he had more reason to dislike the place, but she was content enough for now.

After walking through Tartarus, this seemed like paradise.

She tilted her head at the mention of Macchu Picchu. She'd almost forgotten what it was like when the world was less connected; when deities would disappear and amuse themselves by intervening with different societies. It seemed Ares had had a hand in the rise of the Aztecs, and for a moment she wondered what it would have been like to have been free to explore the world before now. She held sway over the seasons to an extent, and as Ares had mentioned before, the state of her marriage affected the entire world, but it wasn't the same. She wished she'd had a chance to wander and explore of her own free will, instead of hiding away doing the bidding of her husband and mother.

It wasn't an entirely shocking revelation when she realized that her visit to his temple in Thrace was the furthest she'd gone from Olympus in a very, very long time.

Someday maybe I can escape again, she thought, lifting her hands to tuck her hair behind her ears. I doubt anyone would even notice I was gone if I slipped away for a few days.

It was only fair, after all. All the other deities, even Hades, got to roam as they pleased. Why shouldn't she?

"Of course," she replied fondly when he voiced his gratitude that she'd stayed. He still didn't seem to believe that he was worth visiting, but she'd tackle that particular obstacle another day. Today, she decided, they could afford to just relax.

A smirk pulled at her lips as she began to scratch gentle circles on the flat plane that divided his shoulder blades - the one that no being, man or beast, could ever seem to scratch on their own - with the tips of her nails.

"Someone had to make sure you slept," she teased.

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Re: Picking Up the Pieces

Post by Niemand on 23rd November 2018, 12:09 am

The scoff the ex-deity wanted to emit at her comment about it 'not being so bad' never left his throat as he realized it could have been worse. He could have been left without any of the dubious help he had received from his family thus far. Ares had been grateful even as furious as he'd been that he'd not had an audience when he'd used the elevator on Olympus. It had taken all of his resolve not to try and claw his way out of the box. At times even this apartment was too small and caused him a case of claustrophobia causing him to quickly make his way to the roof for the illusion of openness.

Humming in appreciation of the magic her hands and fingers were working on him, Ares had to agree with how much it was relaxing him. He wouldn't go so far as to copy her words and say that she was turning him into a puddle, but Persephone was doing a wonderful job of distracting him. The loosening of the muscles actually helped to ease some of the pain from his head and relaxing the tightness he hadn't even known he'd had. When her massage turned into scratches, he inadvertently let out a pleased groan and shifted so she would scratch more of his back. While a dog he learned how pleasurable a scratch could be, but he hadn't known it would be equally nice in this form.

At her teasing phrase, Ares' mind didn't usually go the way it normally would have. Sex was the very last thing on his mind. He could very well see her using her powers to make him sleep; planting the suggestion and he wouldn't know it until he woke up. Moving his head to be able to glance at her he contemplated turning the tables on her. Languidly turning onto his side, he faced Persephone with a lazy smile adorning his face. Mischief he wasn't able to suppress showed in his eyes before he reached out to wrap his arm around her waist to ensure she couldn't escape. Unknowing if it would work or not, he pounced and proceeded to try and get her laughing by subjecting her to tickling. Ares had seen and heard many of the goddess' laughs from sarcastic to as cynical as his could be; from filled with joy to her soft ones. He wanted to experience them all just as he wanted to see and know every facet that he could uncover.
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