Who: Achilles and Pop What: Achilles and Pop have a date! When: Friday August 12, 2011 Where: A night out on the town, dinner and whatever follows. Warnings: TBD
Pippa had started to harness her old self the more Achilles insisted on being a constant force in pulling her out of this dark hole. It kept him busy, pulled out hiscommanding side that gave people inspiration and hope. His story wasn't all grief, but more and more as this country's spirit was dragged down, men fighting for a cause, the eternal warrior rooted his head again. His restlessness had grown in the months before, growing increasingly aggravated with his own pantheon and other situations. It was a change to focus his attentions on another, a woman he considered a friend, someone a lot like himself that in this little window of time had shown him a different side of herself.
Achilles came Friday to pick her up. Promptly as he had promised.
She wasn't entirely sure where exactly Achilles wanted to take her, or why he wanted to go out at all, but she certainly didn't mind. She enjoyed spending time with Achilles, and she definitely wanted to ask him about some of the things he'd been saying online recently. It seemed like her foul mood had hopped over to him, and she just wouldn't have that.
Pippa met Achilles in the building's lobby, dressed to impress as always. She gave him a small smile when she saw him, waving her fingers.
Achilles was dress in a vest and shades. As she approached he gave her those gray-green eyes, a slight embrace in greeting.
Their attitudes had changed, a reverse it seemed as Achilles had let his own situations feed into his attitude.
Pippa made a sour face at the distance. After the last time they'd gone out, she didn't expect him to be so closed. But, just like him, she wouldn't have any of it.
"I'm not going anywhere with you if you're pouting and sighing, so you can just fix that right now."
Achilles tilted his chin out, setting the shades into a pocket and looking down at her equally arrogant face. "Making demands of me?" He had asked her along with a purpose and a destination and he did not approve of the tone in her voice. He was making time for her as he had the weeks before and she had tue audacity to give him lip. He wasn't having this right now.
"I have a reservation, I will not be late."
She stuck her hip out, not budging. "You're in a bad mood, and if you're not going to at least try to have a good time, then there's no reason."
She was well aware that cameras followed him, and the paparazzi would love to get their claws on photos of them arguing. Rather, of him arguing with anyone.
"You should at least try. I tried."
She was exasperating him and they weren't even at dinner yet. His expression did not change, his body already poised in the direction of the entrance of the restaurant.
"Pippa," he said sternly with a strong tensed jaw. This could become a scene easily. He wasn't in the position to have false accusations pointed at him. Not now of all times or he really would fly off the handle. The Greeks situation had really filtrated into his mood. The calmness he'd had the day before with Makaria gone.
He took a deep breath, channeling something to keep his anger at a minimum.
"Are you ready?"
"No," she said sternly, though she moved to leave with him. "Are you seriously not going to talk about this? Something's bothering you and it worries me. I'm still your friend, you know."
Any other words she had died off after that. She hadn't used that word in a while, and it just seemed to slip out. It sounded odd in her voice.
Achilles paused in his step at her words. He considered her a friend, well enough cared for her to call her as such, but this was the first time she had actually stated that word.
He looked at her somewhat bemused with the term as she did not throw that word around any more loosely than he.
"What is there to say?" He didn't lay things out for people to pick apart, a lot of what Achilles had in his head was kept from the rest of the world while he himself fumed on weaknesses of others. In the end, his pride was his own weakness.
Pippa fairly growled, a sound stopping somewhere in her throat. If she had to worry about things like blood pressure, her doctor would surely tell her to stay away from Achilles.
"You make me want to shake you, you know that?"
He would not be intimidated by Pippa, though in her stance as a newer god she held more strength than him. He wouldn't let that thought slip through, because in Achilles' mind he was not weakened by anyone in his times of arrogance.
He stood firm, in the same way she had been to him just weeks before. Turning his head he looked past the people passing by some unaffected by the scene, others taking a glance over their shoulders.
"What do you want to hear?" He gave in that much, if only because she'd trusted him enough to worry for him. He didn't want sympathy, but he would admit it was nice to feel that someone cared to know. Briseis and Patroclus both had been at a distance these last few weeks, or months even, and it had left Achilles in a state of moving on from that. His mother was his consoling factor, and he'd had been strong with her, but somewhere inside it was building up a wall for him again.
"I just want you to be honest with me," she said quietly, not allowing others to be privy to their conversation. "What is wrong? I don't need your life story, but come on. At least give me something. You've been carrying this all week. Is this a Greek thing? Isn't your pantheon exploding or something?"
He'd refused to tell her what was wrong when she'd asked him online, but she sure as hell wasn't going to back down when they were face to face. And sure, she knew immortal drama - she was a music, after all - but nobody did drama like the Greeks. They invented it, and they still reminded everyone of that.
She'd said the keyword.
Achilles could never be anything but an honest man, he was built that way when so many in his pantheon were full of deception and lies. He exhaled a deep breath after while letting his eyes meet her directly. "There is turbulence among the Greeks, yes. That among other things is but one of my stresses."
"You really need to just focus on things that affect you directly. You can't carry everything by yourself all the time." It was easy for her to say, she always just let everyone else's problems be their own issues and kept to herself. Compassion wasn't something she was too familiar with.
"At least forget about it for tonight. If you play your cards right, I might even play you something." She grinned at him playfully. She'd been listening to a lot of her firsts lately, trying to get back into the swing of things, and it was making her nostalgic. She'd even lifted the cover on the keys to her piano and it hadn't been back down in almost a week.
Achilles took the burdens of soldiers, the burdens of those close to him, and most of all his own grievances. It wasn't easy for him to step back and not let any of those things affect him. "My mother may be a small role within this, but her suffering is mine. Therefore, the revolt among the others is but a burden for me to carry. As it is for the men and women of war. These times are trying in many ways." That was the most he'd ever spoken to her of such things, the most he'd ever stepped into with another concerning his wartime stresses and visions.
He closed his eyes for a moment, exhaling again to keep himself calm and without that rigidity that she'd come in contact with within just a few minutes. He had called her out, she deserved more than this he knew.
She hadn't been aware of what exactly was happening with the Greeks, but she could tell it was big and that most of them took it very seriously. She wasn't entirely sure why, but then again, she hadn't even been around for one century when they'd seen so many. Maybe it was something that would come with time. She hoped it wouldn't. It seemed like too much for her.
It was strange to have Achilles open up to her like this, and while she wanted to continue talking about it, she knew that if she pressed any further he would probably just snap shut again. The best thing she could do now was to get him to focus on something else, if just for one evening. So she smiled and clapped her hands, letting her bracelets tinkle merrily around her wrist. "Yay! So, where are we going?"
For the evening he did his best to seclude his mind from his own stresses, but Achilles would always be focused on self in a way that Pippa was used to as they shared that same dominate personality.
He'd treated her to an evening that would keep the paparazzi sated until Monday. He was silent again as he escorted her back to her apartment, walking in making sure that there was no danger within sight. It wasn't a habit he would ever break as he constantly kept a vigil eye as if scouting the battlefield.
He had opened up this night in a way he had not before, giving Pippa an insight into truly how old of an immortal he was.
Pippa turned around and smiled brightly, her arms folded and her hands resting just above her elbows. "So," she said, leaning forward, "did you have a good time?"
She always enjoyed a night out, and she enjoyed spending time with Achilles, so this particularly night she was doubly pleased. She'd also been able to hear a bit more about what made him tick, which was always interesting.
"It was quite the evening," he gave her a gracious nod. He stood just a few inches from her giving a soft touch to her cheek before ready to take his exit.
"I thank you." Those weren't easy words for him to say, but while the evening had started abrupt, things had steadily been changing between them. They were both seeing facets of the other's personality that was most times hidden.
"Darling, gracing you with my presence is the least I can do." It sounded self-centered - it was - but it was meant in jest. She was pretty much back to normal, and she could only hope that Achilles would soon be the same.
"We should do it again soon."
Achilles gave her a light smile with a kiss on the cheek, this time not so formal as usual. "We will. I would very much like it."