Eris/Brenna & Iris/Briony Who: Eris/Brenna & Iris/Briony What: Dropping the identity bombshell Where: Sidewalk café in the tourist district When: Evening of Saturday, December 13 Rating: PG Status: Closed; Complete
She'd taken to wandering the street of the tourist section at night. There was always a crowd, even this late in the year and the shops and stalls were even more packed than usual as the holidays drew near. Not that Eris minded. More people meant more trouble and she drank in turmoil and bickering as easily as she did the whiskey from her water bottle. A catlike grin was plastered to her lips as she watched a couple of men nearly come to blows over a split glass of red wine at one of the nearby tavernas. Much better than the movies, she mused to herself, licking her lips as her gaze traveled along the stony streets, looking for more trouble.
Briony was sawing her way through yet another Christmas carol, keeping a shrewd eye on the violin case in front of her bare feet. The holiday season in the tourist district was proving to be a gold mine for the busker. Not that she cared much about the money. The crowds were fantastic, though, and that fact made her beam. The violinist had been feeling so confused and anxious and generally out-of-sorts lately thanks to that damn journal Alexius had given her. The confidence boost was definitely needed. Playing was the only time Bry felt as if she really and truly knew who she was. She wasn't a goddess, she wasn't a courier, she wasn't anything except the creator of the cheesy carols that were drawing large crowds outside a sidewalk cafe.
As she finished a song and drank in the applause of the onlookers, Briony felt a sudden stab of something coursing through her- something unpleasant, something she couldn't put her finger on beyond feeling that it wasn't the usual warmth and confidence she felt after finishing a piece. Her eyes fell on a thin brunette and she felt a strange sense of familiarity, like she'd seen the woman before, even though she knew she hadn't. Frowning, she decided to take a small break and sank into a seat at the cafe, running her fingers over her violin protectively and watching the woman as she sipped at a bottle of Mythos the patron plunked down in front of her.
Following the musician she'd spied, though trying not to appear as if she were, merely as if she'd been headed in that direction all along, the Irish woman took up a seat at a table not too far from the blonde. Green eyes moved about, searching for something possibly more interesting but always came back to the street violinist. How... quaint. Eris leaned back in her chair, arms folded across her chest as she gave the waiter her order for a Greek salad and a glass of house wine before tucking her water bottle away in her over-sized purse. She continued to observe the other woman, sometimes covertly though most of her study became more frank and obvious as the minutes stretched on and the tingling in her brain grew stronger.
She was being watched. Briony's eyes flickered over to her flatmates Pete and Carly, sitting at a nearby taverna discreetly watching over Bry and her earnings, making sure she wasn't accosted by any unsavoury types. They were engrossed in a conversation, however, and didn't appear to have noticed the brunette sitting nearby, the one who gave Briony the sense of familiarity. Taking the Mythos with her, she rose from her chair and started cautiously towards the woman. The patron of the cafe where she was resting didn't have any established rules about when Briony was to play and when she was to take breaks- he was grateful for her presence as it increased his business, and if he treated her badly she could go to another neighbourhood and leave him to the wrath of the other businessowners on this street, since she played outside and tourists could sit at any sidewalk cafe on the street and hear her which meant twenty businesses prospered from her busking. No one would care if she took a prolonged break to find out who this woman was. "Hullo," she said with a smile as she approached, plunking her beer on the brunette's table.
Looking from the bottle up to the blonde, Eris's feline-like grin slowly stretched into something full of dark pride. It was getting easier and easier to pull others toward her. Soon, she'd find enough to report back to Ares. "Hello," she returned, brows arching playfully as she looked over the other woman's figure with little attempt to hide it. "Are you off for the night, then?"
The leering had Briony feeling flattered; she straightened up and gave the woman her prettiest smile. It was always nice to be admired, even if it was by odd birds who sounded as if they were trying to proposition you. She knew Carly and Peter were nearby so she wasn't afraid. She shook her head in response to the question, tossing her hair a little. "Just taking a bit of a break." She'd heard the Irish in the other woman's accent, and it made her own southeastern England accent just a little thicker, having rarely had conversations with tourists who spoke her language since arriving in Greece. "Did you like the music?" Christmas carols. The woman had probably been hearing them everywhere. She'd only played one of her own tunes, something she'd composed last night when she'd been unable to sleep for dreams that had been plaguing her ever since Alexius had given her the journal.
"Aye," Eris said with a little nod, gesturing to the seat opposite her as if to ask the other woman to join her. "I did. You're quite talented. I know quite the number of fiddlers back home who'd be jealous of those deft fingers you've got." Flattery would get you everywhere and Eris needed more time to figure out which of her fellows this musician was. She highly doubted Rhea had enough sense of humor to plop Apollo or Pan down in a woman's body. One of the Muses, perhaps?
Briony took the offered seat and gave the woman a nod of thanks for it. "Thank you. I do enjoy playing. I work as a messenger during the day so in the evenings this is sort of my... tension release. Good way to unwind. Are you enjoying your visit to Athens?" she asked politely. It seemed like a safe question for an Irish woman in a tourist restaurant...
Her arms crossed once more over her chest and Eris continued to study her companion while wearing the same Cheshire cat-like smirk. "A messenger?" That was intriguing... "When you can play as you do, I don't see why you're delivering other people's mail," the brunette said, taking a sip of her own wine. "As for Athens, I'm finding it full of rare and beautiful sites," Eris added with a sultry gaze at the blonde.
The blonde shrugged good-naturedly. "It suits me." Especially since people had been telling her on the journals that she was a reincarnated messenger goddess. Her nose wrinkled at that, but she quickly composed herself. "I used to do the whole 'professional musician' thing as a teen. I love playing, but the lifestyle wears on ya after a while. I'm enjoying being lazy for now- get exercise all day, see sights, meet people, snoop through peoples' packages, then at night I meet more people and get to play my music." She giggled at the innuendo of the brunette's last statement. "Thanks for the compliment, but I don't play for the girls' side." Gesturing towards the area where Carly and Peter were sitting, Briony smirked. "I've a pair of flatmates who you would find all sorts of willing, though."
The brunette listened to the other woman's story detailing her career change with the same small smirk of sinister delight before her green gaze flicked to the couple then back to the musician. "I'm sure once you've played the games I know, you'd feel differently," Eris purred darkly, stroking the stem of her wineglass with slender fingers. "A little professional guidance, if you will." She was the master of deception; she had to be. Even among her own kind, no one could twist and weave their webs the way the Lady Strife could.
"Professional guidance?" Briony asked with a smirk. "So you're what? A lesbian prostitute?" She rose from the chair and picked up her beer to depart. "I'm sure you're wonderful, but I'm really not interested."
"No, I'm not a prostitute," Eris laughed, still leaning comfortably back in her chair. "And there's no reason to run off. You're not interested, you're not interested," she said with a shrug. "Doesn't mean we can't make conversation until your next set."
Shrugging affably, Briony sat back down. "I suppose we can. So what do you do then, if you're not a prostitute?"
I create chaos where there is order. Violence where there is peace. Greed where there is contentment. Father against son, brother against brother; no one is safe. "Right now?" Eris shrugged. "Nothing. Lost my job a couple of weeks ago because I went over my vacation days when I lost my passport so I decided to stick around for a bit." Another sip of her wine and the vibrant green eyes fixed on her companion again. "I did office work at a marital therapy practice."
Briony shivered as some unexplainable chill ran up her spine before the woman had shrugged. She took a long drink from her beer bottle to shake off the uneasiness. "Marital therapy? Well, don't take this the wrong way, but that sounds like a pretty awful job anyway, so getting fired sounds like it would be a good thing. We haven't met before, have we?" She frowned, unable to shake the odd sense of familiarity that kept needling her.
"Unless you've been to Belfast, I'd say not in this lifetime," Eris chuckled, swirling the wine in her glass before taking a generous sip. "And the job wasn't so bad but aye, living off my savings for now is infinitely better."
"I've been to Belfast, many times. Concerts. Have you ever been to one, maybe? Briony Heywood," she added by way of introduction, offering a hand to the brunette.
"My Ma might've dragged me to one," the Irish woman conceded. Putting down her glass of wine, her sharp gaze flicked from Broiny's hand to her face before extending her own. "Brenna ni Doherty," Eris returned as a jolt of electricity jumped from palm to palm. She was always beside her mother's throne like a faithful hound. The fleet-footed rainbow messanger. "A pleasure to meet you."
Briony pulled back at the jolt, eyes wide. "What the bloody hell was that?!" she asked nervously. She swallowed hard, well aware that it was probably just some static or something in the air, but she'd been jumpy about anything unexplainable since she'd been given the journal.
Eris shrugged as she released the blonde's hand. "Not a clue," she lied then picked up her wine. "Spark of attraction maybe?" The goddess smirked over the bowl of the glass as she took a sip.
"Please, don't start that again," Briony answered with a smile, rubbing her hand to erase the sensation that still lingered.
The darker woman merely shrugged again, then waved her hand in a 'as you wish' manner. "If it makes you that uncomfortable, I will. However, I've found most consider it flattering. To be complimented instead of overlooked no matter what their actual preference."
"I like compliments," the musician said with a shrug. "You're just, sort of, beating me over the head with them, and I prefer subtle." She steepled her fingers on the table. "That spark felt odd. It's... odd, isn't it?" She was still feeling strange, almost hostile towards the brunette and didn't understand why. Normally she wouldn't mind at all if someone was flirting with her. "Maybe it was just something to do with my hands from playing earlier? Jesus, weird things have been happening to me lately."
Green eyes flashed with a sinister flame as Eris stared at the blonde. "Weird things? Like what?" She knew exactly what but wanted to hear it from Hera's messenger's mouth. 'Speak! Tell me what news you bring!'
Laughing, Briony fingered the fiddle in her lap affectionately. "If I did I'd sound like I was on drugs," she murmured, sipping her beer and deciding that there was no reason not to tell Brenna what weird things were happening. "Of course, I'm a musician, so me being on drugs probably wouldn't surprise anyone. I've been having odd dreams. My whole life, really, but they've been getting worse lately. Manageable, but definitely not normal. I received a journal from a mystery source and words appear in it like magic from other writers. Apparently, I'm a reincarnated Greek goddess." She grinned widely, expecting Brenna to start laughing any moment.
No chuckle came from the brunette. No sound at all as she merely continued to smirk then reached into her purse and pulled out the black leather journal. Sliding it across the table, Eris nodded for Briony to open it. "You are not the only one, Aellôpos," she said then sipped her wine nonchalantly, as if they were speaking about nothing more than the weather.
Her head shot up at the name, the familiarity of it. "I-I know that name! I've heard it before! What does it mean?" she asked, curious. "And why am I not the only one?" Holy shit. Was this woman- was the reason she seemed so familiar... "are you one of the journal people?" But why should that make her familiar? Bry had never seen any of the journal people before. Why would they be familiar?
She nodded to the journal on the table. "Aye, I am. But I'm not the one to give you answers. I'm just seeking the Others. For him." Always for him. Find their allies. Destroy their enemies. Now. While they could. "You need to find yourself, Iris."
Afraid suddenly, though she couldn't articulate why, Briony shivered. She couldn't seem to get away from this whole goddess thing, could she? What the hell? Why hadn't she even noticed the journal there? Was she losing her mind? "Who's 'him'? Where do I get answers? You talked to me on the journals so you know who I am," she mumbled, remembering that she'd written in it that she was a musician, "but I don't know who you are."
"He is the son of your mistress, the one you sided with when we took Olympus," the brunette said, her voice deep and low so that only the other woman could hear her. "You are Iris, the winged rainbow messenger. You served my mother, Hera. You followed my brother, Ares. You fought along side us, against Zeus and we prevailed." She reached out to flip open the cover of her journal, revealing her mortal name and her true one scrawled in Greek. "You know who I am. You know what I am, what I cause. I look different, as do you, but you know my name."
"Eris," she whispered, the knowledge coming to her unbidden. "Lady Strife." She closed her eyes, but it didn't make the knowledge go away. None of it was going away. Everything that Brenna had told her seemed to be solidifying itself in her mind, sticking there, instead of fading away like the products of a normal conversation would. She saw images of battles, of the fight Brenna- Eris, she corrected automatically- had spoken of. The names, Hera, Ares, Zeus... she could see them. Not just the images that were on postcards, statues, tourist trinkets around town. She could see them as they'd been when they were alive, and knew without question that the forms she saw were true. She'd known them in life. In... in her past life. "Bollocks," she said quietly, leaning close over the table, "it's all true, isn't it? This... reincarnation thing?"
The brunette nodded, confirming both the name and the truth that was dawning on the blonde she eyed over the bowl of her wine glass. It was all as she said. Gods reborn in mortal bodies; back now. Powerless, but back. And slowing finding themselves and those they battled with. "I am Eris, sister of Ares, daughter of Hera. Your dreams aren't dreams but memories of your past; of our pasts. Those in the journals are the Others, ones like us... some of each side." Green eyes flashed as she finished off that last of her drink. "Welcome back, Iris."