Who: Helios and Demeter What: Helios' makes an appearance in Demeter's restaurant. When: Tuesday evening Where: Drakones restaurant
Confusion was not something Holden wore proudly, but ever since running into Rhode over the weekend, the visions he'd often dreamed of were far more vivid in his mind. They were hardly visions he would ever proclaim as anything more than a lack of sleep. Now, it seemed a little flip-side, the young man was stepping into imaginary worlds like a dreamer and he didn't spend his time with his head in the clouds. When one spent time inside daydreams they lost focus, and Holden did not lose focus. He had goals to make, not insignificant fantasies that were quite frankly juvenile.
Even as he walked into Drakones with his pseudo-girlfriend (though she could just be considered an acquaintance as their chemistry was flat, even moreso since he met Rhode), there was a blur between reality and fantasy. The columns stood straight and tall, like actual Greek architecture, not some set piece that filled up space. They were adorned with various paintings, quite masterfully painted at that, the entire place a masterpiece of it's own. There was one of those moments again where he felt like a panic attack was hitting his system and he couldn't breathe.
Vivian, the rather tall blond who'd walked in with him watched frantically, crowding him instead of giving him a moment to catch his breath.
Drakones had been open for four days and was, by all accounts, going amazingly. She was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on a grilled octopus when she felt the presence of a Greek and raised her head with interest. She instructed one of the chefs to finish in Greek (many of those she'd hired were Greek in origin) and then went out into the restaurant.
She spotted him quickly, the Titan who didn't seem to remember himself, and approached. "Breathe slowly," she told him in her most calming voice.
The ocean was usually something of a calming nature for him, but when he had episodes like this it was as if he was drowning. There was nothing radiant or pleasant about it.
"What's wrong with you?" Vivian asked Holden, almost irked that he chose now, when this new place opened that she'd been dying to see, to ruin it. She tried to flag down a waiter who walked past her in a garbled annoyance. She stepped back quickly when the dark-haired woman approached.
Holden bent over, his palms pressed into his knees, following the voice with his eyes as he resurfaced with a few slow breaths.
"That's it," Demeter told him with an encouraging smile. "Here, sit," she added, gently leading him to one of the reserved tables so he could sit. Helios wasn't someone she should have to look after like this, but seeing him it was clear that he really wasn't who he had been. She crouched down in front of the chair she'd sat him on and carried on speaking, "keep breathing, in... out... good, very good."
She looked over her shoulder to where one of the waitresses was and asked her in Greek to bring a glass of Retsina. Perhaps the sound of Greek - even modern Greek would help him -and the presence of the resinated wine - so similar to what the mortals in Greece had made so long ago - would help him as well.
Demeter returned her gaze to Helios. "Feeling any better?"
What Demeter could sense, Helios could not. He couldn't tell the presence of an immortal though he had met a few over the years. Though years in Helios' time had spanned very shortly when he had been in New York since the 19th century.
Vivian followed behind cautiously though she was very tempted to leave. People were looking, staring at them. "Get it together Holden, this isn't like you." She'd never seen him have an 'episode' before, and unfortunately she wasn't the sort to really understand or care either way.
The Greek tongue did resonate something, it was like a light switch that was broken, flicking on and off quickly but wouldn't stay lit. If he was going to remember anything, it needed staying power.
He took the glass she offered once he could breath again, the smell alone different than the wines he was use to.
Demeter turned to look at the woman and smiled. "Why don't you sit down? Would you like a glass of wine while your friend regains himself?"
"You seem to be calming somewhat," Demeter told Helios, touching her hand to his knee as she crouched before him. She kept her tone gentle as she continued. "What you're drinking now is called Retsina. It's a type of white wine that the Greeks have been making for at least two thousand years. This one here comes from vineyards just outside of Athens."
Once Holden downed some of the wine, his senses calmed completely. It was strange. At Vivian's haughty air he snorted at her blatant impatience. "There's a table over there with your name on it if you'd like to go." He pointed towards the open table. "You can have the reservation, you don't need me for it."
With a another slow and deep breath he felt as if he had his wits about him again. He wasn't shy, embarrassed, nor did he immediately start to apologize for having caused a scene. He kept his wine in hand and sat up straight in his chair, giving the dark-haired lady a nod of thanks.
He stared for a minute as if he was supposed to say something, one eyes squinting at her appearance. He'd seen her before as well, but his mind was probably shaken from the panic attack.
As he took her in Demeter saw the question and she nodded, "yes, we've met before," she told him as she stood up, moving to sit on the seat across from him. The girl who had gone away was now of no importance. "We've spoken on the internet. I am the Lady Demeter, Olympian harvest mother and once keeper of all that was planted by man." And Helios, his rays had worked with her own magic to grow those plants. How could he not remember how his work had entwined with her own?
"I remind you of someone, I know," he said almost tired with idea. Between her and the little Rhode he'd met the other day, this was what was causing his head to drop into fantasies. Rhode,that name kept ringing in his head like a bell, over and over again until it made his teeth grit.
He held out a strong hand to shake Demeter's, which it felt as if his inner glow emerged when he shook her hand. Those times he healed and protected her seeds, giving them the nourishment. Telling her of her daughter's abduction, being someone important to her. It wasn't a flood of thoughts, selective as they appeared, but it was a strange trickle. She was an Olympian, a much larger power than the immortals he'd met in the past, but he still could not place himself in this.
"You remind me of Helios, the Titan of the sun," Demeter told him. She wouldn't push, even though she knew she spoke truth. But that didn't mean she couldn't encourage. "He drew the chariot across the sky and brought light to the world. Life couldn't function without him. He was father of the seasons, and of the witch Circe, and wedded to the nymph Rhode."
His head whipped around when she said that name again. The same name of the girl he'd met the other day. He looked at her almost annoyed as if they really knew something he didn't.
"You think I am Helios," he corrected her. It was beyond just a reminder.
Demeter's single nod was a simple gesture and her voice remained gentle. "I do," she told him. "I sit here across from you, who claim to be a mortal boy, and it's as though I once more am in the presence of him. I feel the golden warmth of Helios and the power of an immortal."
"I don't feel as you do." There was no surge of energy, no unsettlement inside, but he glowed at that moment, like the rise of the sun over dark hilltops.
"Should you?" Demeter asked him, wanting him to consider it. "To me, I feel only like myself, like I always have done. Why should one look upon their own self and see something remarkable or unusual?"
Demeter reached out across the table. "Take my hand," she said to him. "Tell me that you feel no kinship between the two of us I and I shall leave you to enjoy your meal and not bother you again." At least not tonight,she added silently.
There was a fog over his mind that he couldn't break, the Titan within him persistent to come through. Especially, with her hand outstretched, waiting with a sure thought that there was more than what he saw himself.
He was not reluctant of that hand, nor did he turn it away. Foolish perhaps as on the outside this appeared to be a misunderstanding. His hand lay there for hers to take, an Olympian with an old soul, old power, and in that moment between them his felt even older.
His other hand grabbed against his chest, his heart beating a little more wildly, his skin warm with visions he did not think were his own. It was clear this woman was who she claimed to be. His hands did not move from their position, eyes focused solely on her face.
He felt himself high above, looking down, as if his soul were detached from his body, seeing from an aerial view an entire world. He heard voices, saw faces, and then that one face that was forever branded in his mind. Rhode.
"I do not know what it is I feel," there was confusion on his face. "I've not seen before what I do now." His eyes were questioning but stern.
"Time drifts past all of us differently," Demeter said to the Titan, her eyes remaining on his. "But if I believe anything on this earth, I believe that you are Helios, Titan of the sun and Lord of the sky. But," she added carefully, "let not this define you right now. Live - if it pleases you - whatever life you have carved out amongst humanity. If you choose only to be Holden now, then let it be so." She gave him a small, understanding smile. "It is not always easy to be eternal."
"Your confidence is strong, but not enough to convince me right now." It was difficult for him to be as fanciful as her in believing what she said. She gave him word and word alone but with his personality it would not believe stories. He knew she was true, had a kind heart, but for today the fog in his mind was still too thick.
He released her hand, dropping the other from his chest, taking the visions with her. He was glad she did not press, but perhaps she could tell him more of the girl he couldn't stop thinking about. He was caught in between his strong ways and wondering like a dreamer (which he did not do) and when he flipped around it was evident his confusion.