Classy bishes Who: Hermes and Aphrodite What: The Goddess of Love and the Messenger God conspire to serve themselves if their mortal vessels won’t. Where: The Void all hail the glow cloud/le dreamland? When: Near enough to the present to count, although time is relative to the gods. (Pre-Apartment Complex transformation, though!)
Aphrodite was bored, you would think after living for so long she would have more hobbies to keep her occupied, but not so much. These days lounging around on a silky, fluffy papasan chair similar to the one her current naive vessel had and making criticisms of her life along with her companions was one of her main ways of passing the time.
Especially here, where they were mostly residing instead of Olympus, which was her favorite most days even though it had gotten rather crowded. Bound to happen when your people reproduce but don’t seem to stay dead apparently.
At least here, in this odd in between place, her innate magic flowed easily, so she could conjure blankets, incense, sweets, anything she desired. Well, except company, but that wasn’t always wanted anyway, and it was something she didn’t need magic to get.
Hermes often didn’t stop to consider if his company would be welcomed by others. He simply attended to his duties as the orders came down to him--and who would dare deny the personal messenger of the great Thunderer himself? Certainly, Hermes would do whatever was necessary to ensure he acted as a proper guest, but any personal gains he may have sought for himself outside of Zeus’ missions were his own private business.
The Goddess of Love did not, in fact, exist as Hermes’ own private business; the only business she entertained were those of her own whims and desires. She belonged to no one and answered to no one, and that was simply how she had always presented herself. Perhaps this aspect of her brash personality attracted Hermes above all else: the line of her hips as they moved beneath satin material, the touch of her soft skin under his hands, the sheer delight she expressed when in the very throes of passion. None of these physical, albeit endearing, qualities held a candle to the vibrant soul within the beautiful goddess.
“Aphrodite, she who has Risen from the Sea, have you grown more lovely since I last laid eyes upon you?” The silver-tongued messenger alighted in Aphrodite’s created resting place, a formation somewhere between the conscious and the subconscious. It was only in dreams that any of them retained a form of power removed from their mortal vessels--though Hermes had an inkling that perhaps a change was on the wind.
Aphrodite had admittedly not gained much in the way of modesty in age, although she liked to think that she had earned it as her grace and elegance had increased even if she didn’t have a proper form to show it off. That couldn’t be helped at the moment, but when it could she was going to be one of the first to leap at it without a doubt; some things were better experienced with skin and a heartbeat, even if there were more risk involved.
Her head tilted towards Hermes when he made an appearance, the gesture and angle designed to highlight her features unconsciously even now, body turning towards him enough to show she was listening while also showing he hadn’t earned her full attention.
Hermes and her had done this dance enough now that it was instinct. There was no one in any position high enough to prevent her from dismissing them, no one was that important, and she had given him a certain amount of disregard just to show Zeus that she could. Love, sensuality, sex, yes; kindness, compassion and patience were not necessarily the qualities she embodied.
Still, he was persistent, surprisingly sincere and had an endearing sort of vulnerability for one of their kind, and a quicker wit than her husband.
“With every breath and beat my dear,” A wave of her hand and more plush cushions appeared around her, a seat should he accept the invitation her warm smile presented, “And have you found something fun to keep you entertained these days, I heard you’ve begun interfering with.” She tapped a red nail on her chin before looking to the mirror that currently displayed Aurora’s face and Hermes’ vessel has appeared, “Your adorable little vessel, what was his name again?”
“Ah, now is that truly the topic you wish to discuss?” Hermes accepted the seat offered to him, temporarily vanishing his staff with a blink into the surrounding ether. Settling himself against the cushions, he smiled pleasantly up at the ceiling, rather than directly facing his companion.
“His name is Percy. He has considerable merit; do not be so quick to dismiss him, dear one.” Only now did he look openly at Aphrodite. “I could hardly say anything cruel about your choice. She is certainly lovely. Tell me, are you jealous?” The teasing tone entered his voice with little suppressed effort; it had been seemingly eons since he had made his first impression on the goddess of love, and often he no longer cared to mask certain aspects of his personality.
As if he should even need to do such a thing in the first place.
Hermes adored her, he always had, and who was to blame him, really? But these days he was more himself than he might’ve been when he was still filled with starstruck puppy love, able to give as good as as he could take most days. That’s what she appreciated about him, and his smile of course. Oh, and his usefulness, he did have that going for him.
In more than one area.
Aphrodite cocked a curious eyebrow, “He does seem to be a tenacious thing, I like that in my men.” Or women, but he knew that. Of the many things she was likely to judge someone on, what hung between their legs wasn’t one of them.
But she scoffed at the mention of Aurora, “Why would I? She’s a novice at using what she’s got, look at her.” A wave of her hand and the image in the mirror shifted to the present, Aurora getting buzzed in a bar speaking to Ares’s vessel and someone who glowed with an aura she didn’t recognize, but with no date or anything of that sort herself. Looked wonderful, but nothing to show for it. What a laugh.
His laughter was akin to the tinkling of newly-made bells, carelessly and happily breaking through whatever silence may have ever had a chance to come between the two of them. There was no guile in this particular moment, only light-hearted delight. Whether the discussion at hand centered upon their less than deified state of being, or the mortal vessels they now inhabited--in so few words--Hermes was not about to let it become a point of contention. If anything, it was increasingly interesting to inhabit a mortal; to breathe, to feel blood pump through his veins, to experience the odd sensations of exhaustion and disappointment, shifting moods as mercurial and well-kept as his very own. He had chosen correctly.
Aphrodite had as well. He let her know as such when he followed her line of sight to the mirror, a quiet hum of approval from deep in his throat.
“She has much to learn, O Mother of Desire. Were you not ever in such an unfortunate position?” He waved a hand dismissively at the mirror when it revealed the current incarnation of Ares. “Come, Aphrodite. Allow her to live and learn, as the colloquial phrase is spoken in this century. We cannot all run before we are able to walk.” There was a pause in his commentary then, a beat wherein the loquacious god chose to savor his next choice of words, turning them over in his mind like a newfound delicacy. “It is a journey, the mortals say, to live their own lives by their own terms. I cannot foresee this reality being undesirable to you, of all goddesses.”
“Desire and love.” She waved a chastising finger at her sometimes lover, arm trailing silken scarves that fluttered with air currents that shouldn’t have existed where they were. The sad thing was she wasn’t even doing it on purpose, one of those subconscious gestures that her body did like mortals breathed. The tilt of her head, the warmth of her when she beckoned others closer that marked her for what she was no matter what form she took or how much their power waned--after all, it wasn’t just anyone that could tempt people to risk Hephaestus’s wrath.
Aphrodite leaned towards him before giving up and just lounging back, invading his personal space to drape herself across his lap without any sort of permission requested.
She ran a hand through her hair--long red curls today, like how she had seen herself depicted in a silly film. Just for the whimsiness of it, “You or I can go a century or two with cold beds and not feel lonely, mortals need self affirmation.” Aphrodite, on the other hand, required no one to help her with her worthiness and confidence, but she had a bit of an upper hand that most did not, “I enjoy the benefits sharing her heartbeat brings, but I dislike the fear of mortality and loneliness.” Such things were alien to their kind, fascinating from a distance, but rather appalling up close and when it was actually happening to them. Her head tilted still towards the mirrors, “Ares’ vessel is a bit tame these days, isn’t he?” It was said with a dangerous air, of a woman with a scheme building in her eyes.
Hermes’ smile was self-satisfied when the demanding goddess bequeathed to him the privilege of sharing her personal space. Ah, it may not have been the first time, nor would it be the last, but was it not a thrill each and every replay? She needed only to trail her delicate fingers along his arm and he knew his skin would react in an all-too mortal manner, goosebumps prickling up and down his form. It was a trait that he seemed to share with his current vessel, and one which he did not disapprove of the man sharing.
There were, however, other certain matters he decidedly would mind sharing. Perhaps that was why the mortal man was hesitant to act upon his desire for Aphrodite’s vessel. Let no god ever proclaim that Hermes wasn’t, at the end of the dawn’s bold light, as selfish as any of his siblings. Possessive, certainly not--but there was a particularly nice aspect to taking what--or who--one desired, and ignoring any others whom might be interested as well.
“Perhaps he has lost his way,” the messenger god suggested, lazily tracing the curve of Aphrodite’s cheek with one finger. “It would behoove him to find a direction, lest he become wasteful with his gifts.” There was a private secret evident in his smile, hidden in the corners of his mouth. He would keep it to himself; some matters were simply not to be shared. “This ‘self affirmation’ you speak of, dear one; what would you suggest we do to assist the struggling child you’ve chosen to house your soul?” The goddess of love would have been hard-pressed to miss Hermes’ suggestive, playful tone.
It wasn’t cold here, there was no temperature variance unless they wanted there to be one. A thing that Aphrodite, who thrived on sensation and touch as much as Dionysus loved the frenetic energy he fostered, disliked more often than not. It was still and sterile, and she counteracted that anytime she could, especially when it gave her an excuse for more contact--a cool breeze in the room that smelled and felt like the beach prompted her to snuggle a bit closer to her sometimes lover even if his warmth was arguably fake.
There were times for people like Ares--wild, raw and passionate--but there were just as many to get lost in the sort like Hermes (and maybe Percy), who wore their hearts differently. Aphrodite would be a poor goddess of desire and love if she didn’t appreciate all sorts, everyone except Hephaestus of course. Mortals farmed and ate for sustenance, but these moments were what gave her life.
Her head tilted into his touch, eyes fluttering closed in an unconscious gesture that she knew affected him. It was a gift that she sometimes tried to control or even stop, but it was such a part of her it was difficult. It wasn’t that she tilted her hips on the cushions just so on purpose, or that she made sure her hair fell in such a way that her collarbones (tan like Aurora’s lovely skin at the moment) were exposed temptingly for a reason. Hephaestus judged her, Ares and Zeus leered, but she couldn’t easily change her ways.
But one of her eyes peered closely at him, “If you have a bit of fun planned for our other lost ilk you should include me,” It was the closest she came to asking most days, “I have a way of bringing out interestingthings in people…” Now that? The fingers that smoothed out the wrinkles on his clothes over his thighs, an innocent gesture from anyone else but her--that was definitely on purpose, “Oh I don’t know, do we have any of those apples lying around still? For eternal beauty or some such?”
Those tempting collarbones of hers which she now displayed were gently touched, Hermes’ fingers ghosting over the shape of them. He might have lost himself in the moment, content merely to feel Aphrodite’s soft skin against his. But the foam-born goddess had other plans on her mind--at least for now. Fortunately for both of them, Hermes had never been a man who shied away from attending to business. Some might even say he had made a career out of his dutifulness.
When it suited him.
He met Aphrodite's direct look with one of his own, holding his gaze steady despite the goddess’ more…distracting endeavors. “Surely the Hesperides have not yet allowed Ox-Eyed Hera’s garden to fall into ruin. Truly, what a shame that would be. Are you suggesting that we deliver the mortal equivalent of such a thing?” There was a glimmer to his eye, a shine which most would recognize as the immortal guide’s increasing interest in the potentiality of performing one of his favorite feats: that of theft, the pure and simple and delightful act of transgression. “Tell me more, Aphrodite. You have my full attention.”
There is an art to movement, to what the eye notices even when the mind does not that Aphrodite was the master of, although subtlety wasn’t always necessary. Especially not with Hermes, who had been drawn to her without airs and nearly by accident--as much as anyone’s attraction to the Goddess of Love was accidental of course.
She tilted into his touch, using it as an excuse to get closer to him. That was one trait that had bled over to her vessel unabashedly, and enjoyment of touch between those she considered hers and a dislike of the lack of it that made her irritable. Here in the void she felt an imitation--no, an echo really--of what Aurora felt in her skin, and it displeased her endlessly, Aphrodite was not accustomed to the feeling of envy.
A fox’s smile transformed her face as she saw the spark in his eyes, “I’m suggesting we don’t wait for the things we wait to fall in our laps, dear one.” She laughed and gestured to her current position, “Not everyone can be as lucky as you.” Spoiled, some would say, another thing she shared with Aurora, though if that was because of her connection to Aphrodite or just luck who was to say, but she was feeling restless and had the ego to think she could do something about it.
“Then Aurora will require a push, as is only fitting at this juncture,” Hermes responded. His delight at Aphrodite’s mischievous smile was apparent. The messenger god touched her curled tresses, the scent of her perfumed hair lingering upon his fingers. Red was not always the color she wore, but it was nevertheless a wise choice whenever she deemed it worthy enough to grace her locks of hair. Fiery and passionate, much like the goddess herself.
Hermes was thoughtful, detangling the means of influence to be enacted upon the unwitting mortals. “I cannot influence her directly, as you can, but perhaps I could provide the necessary impetus for my hesitant counterpart. He does desire Aurora’s company, though I admit I have not been especially considerate when it comes to sharing.” Little to no shame affected the truth he revealed; where, indeed, would be the sense in denying his own degree of selfishness? Aphrodite would have cut through any lies he told, if he had bothered to try. And trying was not necessary in this set of circumstances.
Aphrodite gave a quiet hum of agreement even as she stretched out and made herself comfortable draped over her sometimes lover, never hesitant to take up as much space as she wanted when others might have considered it improper. It wasn’t for her, the messenger of the god’s had always seemed to have a fire in him when such a thing flickered in some of the other’s and would always be her’s even when he wasn’t.
Her mouth twitched into a fond and amused smile, “Oh Hermes, you never have been. That’s something you share with the mortals you tend to be so fond of.” Aphrodite had always found it to be one of his quirks, and an endearing one at that. Had even indulged it for a time, though for them time was definitely handle so very differently from the mortals they dabbled with. What’s a century, when you were going to live forever?
Though if they were still living was up for debate, but how were they supposed to know that? Even Cassandra had not spoken of a such a thing.
“Do you think it would help them remember?”
He hummed low in his throat, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Aphrodite’s assessment of his...humanistic peculiarities. It was a discussion for another time, one which would preferably be sooner rather than later. Instead, he focused on the task at hand, this mission that the goddess of love had so happily put in front of him--as if he wouldn’t become consumed with the cleverness of it, tricking their very own vessels into assuming more proper relations with one another.
It was so clever, in fact, that it lessened his own lingering sense of avarice. Slightly.
“If it does not, do we simply choose another set of mortals to inhabit? I do not believe it works quite like that, dear one.” He smiled lazily, relaxing more into the couch, Aphrodite’s form against him like a second skin. “Come now, love, there is no room for doubt. If I can subdue a hundred-eyed giant with but the power of my tongue, what makes you believe I cannot garner the correct form of attention from your charming Aurora? Percy needs but a push, and I will be the cause of it.”
A shiver--a small bolt of electricity and nothing more--shot down her spine at his words and the Goddess sat up with the sensation, eyes alight with hunger and cheeks flushed with excitement, not unlike a wanton maiden slipping behind the barn with a lover for the first time.
Her hair cascaded down her back in a flowing red river like that blood that had been spilt in the name of the fox’s grin on her face. Full lips as red as bursting cherries trailed down the side of his face and along his jawline, “Oh Hermes, that sort of confidence and sly words looks much better on you than mooning over me ever did, share that quality,” Her hands wound their way into his hair, “With your vessel a bit more and I think we can skip this song and dance don’t you?” Not that Aphrodite didn’t enjoy the song and dance, some forgot these days that she didn’t just embody sex, but love and sensuality as well which took many forms.
It also gave her a bit more sway in this form than some of her counterparts, not enough, never enough, but some.
“As you wish, Aphrodite,” he murmured, determined to achieve his goal and yet temporarily distracted. The messenger god embraced the shapely goddess, leaning more into her affections. “It will be done. For now, however, there is another pressing matter which needs attention.”