Who: Achilles & Pop What:damnit it's so hot a walk outside When: Friday, mid-afternoon, August 1, 2011 Where: near Pop's Manhattan apartment
When Pop had contacted Achilles' mortal agent, she'd done so with clear intentions. Achilles was one of the few people that could tolerate her attitude, and she knew that if she was ever going to get out of her funk, she'd need a swift kick in the ass. Glam had been perfect to commiserate with - she knew what it was like to lose one of her own and had been a great comfort - but Achilles would be the one to tell her to get over it and move on. Of course, she'd never ask him outright for his help. To admit she even needed help in the first place was a sign of weakness, and that was just something she did not do. So, she'd had a normal, straightforward conversation with Kenneth, and it wasn't long after she was contacted by the immortal himself.
Despite Achilles' prodding and persistence, Pop flat-out refused to leave her apartment that day. Still, the fact that he'd even shown up spoke volumes to her. They'd become acquaintances initially because Pop had wanted to make connections in the immortal world, but over time, they'd actually found out they had quite a bit in common. They were both perfectionists by nature, strong-willed and quick-witted. Not only did he come to see her that night, but he'd called the next day. The day after, she finally realized he wasn't going to let up, so she agreed to finally leave her apartment.
She left her door unlocked again while she finished applying her makeup, listening out for sounds of her friend coming through the door. Even after a week, there was still no music surrounding the music goddess.
Achilles was in no mood to drag feet when Pippa had finally taken his advice to get out of the apartment. He'd been persistent as necessary but with the softer side few were privileged to see. There was a side of him that took over when someone was in distress, and though Pop would never admit to needing his help he felt the need to dominate the situation as he did with most women that became a part of his life. He came early standing like a statue with his arms folded as he waited for Pippa to present herself. She looked better than she had in days but there was still progress to be made.
She stepped out of her bedroom, pressing her lips together in a thin line to even out her lipstick. Despite the lack of sound, she still hadn't heard Achilles enter, so when she saw him, she let out a rather undignified yelp of surprise. She recovered quickly, putting a hand to her chest, her fingers smoothing out her scarf. It was the only accessory she had on with the plain, black dress, and the only thing with color.
"You scared the shit out of me." She walked toward him, but instead of offering her customary greeting of a quick embrace, she reached around him for the black fedora that hung on the rack beside him. "And you look like you're taking me to the gallows."
Pop appreciated Achilles - she did. But she was still in a fairly nasty mood, and she was fighting against him every step of the way. A little part of her wanted to stay in another day, but she knew what was best for her, and she knew he wouldn't buckle under her scrutiny.
Achilles arched his brow as he moved past him, an insulted look on his face at the brushoff. He unfolded his arms giving her a scrutinized once over. He wasn't going to pander her, she was a strong force that he didn't feel she deserved it. Letting him bend under her would be as much an insult to her as it was to him.
"Then pick up the pace," he instructed, "your executioner has places to be." What may have been a snide remark actually held some light hearted play. He may be tough on her but he understood the power of grief.
Achilles put his hands on her shoulder looking down on her from his high held chin. One hand grasped her own chin softly inspecting her again but only giving her a slight curve of his lip.
"Are we ready?" though by his tone he was hardly giving her an option.
She didn't pull away from the touch, but the small frown showed she wasn't pleased. "You're here, aren't you? What else could you possibly have to do?" She was sure he had a million other things to do, as did she, but she'd been ignoring them. She was sure she'd have to work her ass off once she finally went back.
She reached for her sunglasses and put them on, effectively shielding herself and covering up most of the makeup she'd spent over an hour on. "Ready for what?" she mumbled, not entirely sure still what they were supposed to be doing.
He gave her his arm as he escorted her out of the apartment, shielding his own eyes with a pair of shades. She was getting temperamental but he wasn't about to let her soak up all the attention. They had always attracted attention since they'd met, the media loved it.
For a while he walked silently letting her set the tone. He wast the completely arrogant jerk as he'd proved over the last few days.
Her hand rested calmly at his elbow, but her fingers clutched his arm just a little too tightly. She didn't have much to say once they left her front door behind, all her pomp and arrogance stuck behind it. Inside, she was queen. Outside, she was still a bit scared.
Even with the sunglasses and hat, she squinted when they stepped out into the sun. "Ew." Her free hand immediately reached up to slide the scarf from around her neck. "Ew. Why is it still so disgustingly hot?"
Achilles had no set destination for them yet he just wanted her to soak up the atmosphere before they went anywhere specific. He kept his pace slow as she adjusted to the outdoors.
"There's been a heat wave," he spoke seriously looking down at her, "You haven't melted yet, I don't think you will now," he teased lightly.
"Well, I'm not a witch, despite what some might say." It was bright, and loud, and hot, and everything Pippa didn't want to deal with right now. "Melting's not an option."
Having Achilles there made things a little easier, like pulling off a bandage quickly as opposed to bit by bit. She leaned into him, because really, wasn't that what he'd come for? She might as well make use of him before he went back into hyper-focus on his work.
"No fancy tricks under those sleeves? You disappoint me." She wasn't used to being out and around the bustle of people, but it was where she was contrived, surely him taking her out could remind her. He wasn't about to let her wither away. She would find a new prodigy, a new puppet to dance on a string. Though he knew the feeling of being mortal and holding difference among the rest, there would be others for Pippa to love. New talents.
Her weight leaned in against him and while he looked at her curiously he did not push her off. His arm moved from around her grip softly resting around her shoulders.
Her eyes cut to the side, looking at him from behind her glasses. "I have plenty of tricks, sweetheart, but I haven't fallen into nuclear waste. No wacky super powers. Just music."
Which was, despite everything else that surrounded her, what she really was made of. Major scales, catchy hooks and modulations. There was a depth to her that she mostly kept hidden from view, because as much as she was the music, she was still influenced by the constant need to feel accepted.
They walked quietly, and after a while, Pippa was no longer worried about her surroundings. She was less tense, and she leaned just a bit less on her friend. "Where are we going, anyway?"
As she felt stronger Achilles released his grip but his arm remained around her shoulders. She was sounding more herself, feisty and sharp. "No radioactive spider bites or super serums?" he threw back with the smallest of smiles.
"No where in particular, just a walk." A nice casual walk without interruption. If she was cooperative he'd buy her lunch.
A laugh rose up, but she bit it back before it was released. "No. Also, gross."
Just a walk. It sounded unproductive, but she hadn't done anything productive in the last few days, so she supposed it was little steps for her.
"Anyway," she said suddenly, trying to stop her self-pity party, "what's this I hear about you getting an assistant? I thought you were supposed to get your assistant the assistant."
"It makes for interesting storyline," he teased her lightly, nudging her lightly with his elbow.
A walk wasn't productive to her, but to Achilles it was a necessity when his mind was full. It was what he needed to embrace situations or he'd let it beat him up inside.
"Kenneth's idea." Achilles himself was unsure of why he had agreed. He was restless, he needed something to focus on or he would make a reckless decision.
She grinned, dodging him a little too late. "What's he going to do, anyway? Get your coffee wrong? Pick up your dry cleaning?"
"He's an intern, right now he's just wallpaper." Achilles had not yet decided what to do with this kid, or how comfortable he really was with it. It was an idea that he trusted Kenneth on, which said a lot seeing as Achilles trusted so little.
"An intern has to learn or something, right?" She'd never been to college; she didn't understand exactly how the system worked. She lowered her glasses to look at him. "You're really going to let someone watch you work?"
"That they do," there was an edge to his voice. He wasn't entirely sold on the situation no matter how much he trusted Kenneth's idea. He turned his head giving her a look through his own glasses. "Are you questioning me?" he asked arrogantly. "Perhaps I am."
Pippa shrugged. "I don't know - I couldn't do it. I guess that just means you're a better man than me." She giggled at her choice of words - she hadn't been male in a while, and with Glam now female, she wasn't particularly excited at the prospect that it might happen.
"You can trust Kenneth, though. He hasn't led you astray yet. And it might be fun."
"He's been loyal, I'll trust in him this time. Though young ones today tend to get ahead of themselves. The first time he slips up and I'm done." He sighed heavily as they continued to walk. "Besides, I've had my mind on other things these last few months." Like returning to the field if it was at all possible.