Who: Rhode & Helios What: First visit since Helios left When: Monday afternoon Where: Rhode's apartment
Amphitrite's visit had done a lot for Rhode, in terms of cheering her up and making her feel more like a human being again. And Hephaestus' package helped her go to sleep on the nights when sleep just wouldn't come. But the apartment still felt empty without Helios around, taking up the space and making her feel warm and safe. She was thinking about taking down all the lamps, but she couldn't bring herself to, so she just sat in the dim light instead, or turned the TV on for the flickering blue light.
She was sitting on the couch, watching some scifi show and sipping some Scotch, when a knock came on the door. She wasn't expecting anyone, so she was curious as to who it might be. So when she unlocked the door and saw Helios standing on the other side, her heart stuttered a bit and she wasn't quite sure what to say.
It had been a few days since he'd left. His full memory wasn't even back, but he knew well enough of who he was and the physical apology he owed Rhode. He'd come in tow with the gifts Hephaestus had left with him.
The look on Rhode's face made his heart sink to the pit of his stomach. He didn't greet her with a kiss or warm arms, but the glow around him showed that some of himself was back.
He stepped inside giving Rhode a half smile. "I'm sorry," he said softly.
"I know you are," she replied. "And I also know it's not your fault. Please, come in." She stepped aside to let him pass, and then closed the door behind him. "Drink?" she asked, pouring a second tumbler.
"And I was thinking," she added, putting the lid back on the bottle. "Part of the reason you left was because you thought I was cheating on my husband, right? So I thought...let's get married. Again. You know, use the names the mortals know us as. That way, if this happens again, it's proof that you're supposed to be exactly where you already are."
He'd promised to stand the test of time, to give her everything a husband could. Freedom and love. He'd failed her completely. He was sure that when she made her offer (almost like the one he'd made so many years ago with Zeus that he wanted her as a wife) he could feel that glow around him shine a little brighter.
His eyes pricked a little. He wasn't soft, he knew how to put up with Rhode's strength with his own, but that was a pretty fantastic moment. As if she'd been thinking on it for days.
"You came up with that?" He quirked a smile.
"I did," she said, a small grin on her lips. It was the first time she'd really smiled in days. "They say that things like photographs and objects can help trigger memories, it takes you back to what you were doing when it happened. And if you say our names on a marriage certificate, it might help you to remember what happened. And of course all the pictures that will undoubtedly be taken."
She paused and sipped at her scotch. "So, you think the world is ready for me to be Nerissa Colossi?"
"What happens in the case of some massive earthquake?" he teased through some choked up response.
"I've never been proposed to before." It was kind of sweet and brought back a flashbacks of a time when she'd warmed up to the idea of even being married to him.
"That's what insurance and emergency planning are for," she said, not missing the meaning behind his words. "Worst case, we relocate to Massachusetts. I hear the Cape is beautiful in the summer."
She laughed softly and said, "Consider it a turning of the tables, Fate balancing out the universe, call it whatever you want. Just...don't leave again, OK? Don't ever listen to me if I say that. Stay here, with me. Stay with me and be my husband."
"Better seal those pictures in a watertight container." He stepped in a little more comfortably now. "I've heard that before."
His eyes wondered up and down, finding her youthful face to settle on. "What and end up bruised and beaten?" He leaned down to place a kiss against her forehead. "I'd do it over again if it means you'd never give up on me," he whispered, those soft words not at all hiding behind some mask. Helios was always very straightforward.
"We can get a little house on the beach, and fresh seafood all the time," she said with a little smile. "And I'll get one of those strongboxes that can withstand natural disasters and acts of gods and...I don't know, the Apocalypse, or something."
"To be fair, I warned you about that first," she said under her breath, but she was smiling. She leaned her head against his chest, relishing the feeling of him being back with her again. "I'm no quitter," she reminded him. "My father says I have no spine, I say he can go hang. If keeping you around means proposing to you this time around, then I'll do it."
His hands rested against her waist, as small as it was against him. "Like old times, babe?" he asked in a brushed whisper, his nose whisking a strand of hair from her face. There was frustration there against his words. A latent sigh. "I hate this. I hate forgetting. Even now it's not all there." He had the worst concussion ever that was either due to Poseidon's first take down, or the Olympians taking over and scratching Titans from the books. He was just a flicker sometimes up against Apollo, especially with the Sun Olympian in the same city.
"I'm not a pushover. Not usually." His large hands cupped her face. "I accept."
"Just like old times, love," she replied, using him as a support because he was warm and solid and there. "You and me, us against the world." She looked up at him, stretching up on her toes and kissing the tip of his nose. "That's why we're doing this. So you can remember, so we can anchor you back to reality. It's going to be hard, and it's going to take time, and I know you like to jump in headfirst. But in this case, we'll have to take it one step at a time."
"Am I supposed to interpret that as you being a pushover for me?" she teased. "Good. And we don't have to do anything terribly lavish, or anything, just our families and a few close friends. I just want us to be together."
"If I have to wake every morning falling for you all over again, it's worth it." Compared to most couples in their pantheon, including her parents and some of her siblings, they were relatively normal. As normal as a Greek family could be. He wouldn't let her slip through his fingers as easily as before, when he'd let her father take him down. Helios had been surprised. He should have seen it coming.
"No," he shook his head, picking her up off her toes with his arm still rested against the small of her back to keep her steady. Now she was face to face. He gave her a quick kiss. "It's not my style to even stand down to you. I am a Titan. Old, yes. Weak, no." He nuzzled her nose with another kiss. "As our families tend to stretch a mile wide, I think small and simple is perfect."
"Remind me to have us watch 50 First Dates, you pretty much just described the entire plot," she told him, happily slipping back into their comfortable banter. She knew that as far as marriages went, they were two of the lucky ones. Things could have turned out so much worse for both of them.
"Well I hope you don't think I'll be doing any standing down either," she said, raising one eyebrow, a laugh threatening to escape. She leaned into his kiss, not even realizing exactly how much she'd missed him until he came back, picking her up like she weighed nothing.
"I can personally attest that you aren't weak, love," she assured him. "And we'll keep it small, I'll put the word out and tell people to keep their schedules flexible. And I can start looking for a dress. And my mother might cry. Happy tears, I hope."
She made his heart jump every time they ran through this course. It had only been a few, but it was one too many. He didn't like forgetting that there was someone he could call family, someone that loved him. When his memories slipped he felt more alone than he could have ever imagined. There was hardly any light inside of him at all. Right now he was a beacon, shining against her skin with each soft kiss.
She was a feather in his arms, as rough as she was delicate. He grinned against her lips. "It's one thing to get proposed to, but I have a mind to think you're not giving me an option." He tugged on her bottom lip lightly between his teeth, still holding her as if he were made of steel. "The tempestuous daughter of Poseidon chooses me this time."