|lucas_apollo (lucas_apollo) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-10-26 15:33:00
|Entry tags:||apollo, uke mochi|
I am the fountain of affection, I'm the instrument of joy
Who: Alice and Lucas
What: Apollo pops in for a visit, and lets the cat out of the bag.
Where: Pax, 10th floor
When: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
The past week had been...odd, to say the least, and ever since Sunday Lucas had been having the strangest feeling that he wasn’t exactly alone. He knew he was, of course, there was no one else in the apartment with him, but he caught himself looking over his shoulder once in a while, expecting to see someone else standing behind him. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, and made it a little hard to sleep.
Fortunately, today was his day off, since he worked Saturdays at the hospital clinic. More than usual today he was getting that ‘somebody is watching me’ feeling, and he didn’t think that would go over well at the hospital.
’But we need to heal people…’ he heard.
Yeah, there was that too. Brand new this morning, a voice urging him to go to work and heal, but also to pull out his guitar and play. Maybe both at the same time. He had not yet ruled out a trip to the psych ward.
Beyond Lucas’s worries was Alice with her own. The changes of the apartment, the keys to different rooms, had all worn Alice down. She was feeling frayed at the edges and found solace in her work. She had no control over her personal life but at least she had Molly, her friends, and the bakery. At least she could busy her anxious hands with kneading dough. At least there were things that could be a distraction.
That led her to Lucas’s floor which made her initially step back into the elevator. It was more advanced than Alice’s floor with more voodoo symbolism throughout. The elevator doors slid closed and Alice blinked, realizing what she had done, and leaned forward to press the door open button once more. In her hands were cider donuts--her first batch she had tried to make which had come out reasonably well--and after dropping a bag of the donuts off at Isobel and Rafael’s apartment doors, she gathered the courage to go to Lucas’s door and actually knock and converse with him. While her strength had frayed due to the apartment complex, so had her confidence that Lucas wouldn’t see straight through her and see her for the damaged person she was.
Slowly she made her way past the voodoo altars and candles, keeping her gaze fixed on Lucas’s door, and clutched the bag of donuts in her hand. She’d be fine, she could make it through this hall as she had the others, and seeing Lucas would be fine as well. Still, she felt a flutter of anxiety in her chest.
In that time, Lucas had gotten dressed, picked up his keys and pulled open the front door before he realized what he was doing. Autopilot had kicked in and he’d gotten ready for work; he was even holding the lunch he’d made for himself for tomorrow. He sighed in frustration and was about to turn back into his apartment when he noticed someone in the hallway. “Alice?” he asked, his earlier annoyance forgotten. He set the bag down just inside his door and stepped out. She looked...out of place. Probably something to do with the flowers and candles and drawings everywhere. He’d already adjusted to the new normal, but from the looks of it, this was her first trip to his floor since it happened. “Are you okay?” he took a step towards her, immediately concerned. “I know, it looks weird, right?”
Alice met Lucas’ eyes and seemed to grow less tense. She smiled, although it didn’t quite reach her eyes, and picked up her pace to reach him all the quicker. “Yeah, I’m alright,” she said softly, her gaze glancing at the various designs in the hall. “It just all… I don’t know, it creeps me out. I know this stuff has a purpose and a place in a religion but the fact that it’s here and out of nowhere just…” She quivered then let her shoulders fall. Looking back at Lucas she smiled more honestly and held out the bag. “I brought you donuts, I thought you may like to try them. It’s my first try, so maybe they won’t be that great..”
He smiled and stepped aside so that she could go ahead of him. “I’m sure they’ll be delicious,” he declared, guiding her gently to his apartment. “Why don’t you come in? I’ll make some tea - I promise, it hasn’t changed at all in there.” Except in my head, it seems, he thought to himself.
He picked up the bag of lunch by the door as casually as possible and brought it in with him, stashing it back in the fridge. “What kind are they? I’ll see if I have a tea that will pair nicely with them in…” he paused in mid-sentence, a sudden feeling of dizziness coming over him, as if the floor had dropped out from under him. He steadied himself on the edge of the counter, but for some reason the sensation of touching it was dulled. He tried to shake his head to clear it, but it didn’t move.
“Well that’s interesting,” someone said with his voice.
“Cider donuts!” Alice responded, moving into the apartment as she looked at the bag, unfolding the closed top and peeking inside. “They have sugar on the outside. They’d be great with tea.” Looking up, her smile faded slightly and her brow knit with concern. Reaching out, she gently touched Lucas’ arm. “Hey…are you okay? Dizzy spell?”
Apollo looked over at her hand on his arm, and then up at her eyes. A radiant smile lit up his face. “Well hello, beautiful,” he said, “and what might your name be?” he asked, his voice was kind and soft, with warmth like a summer sun. He looked down at himself and pressed his hands to his chest, as if making sure that it was real. “Ohh, I haven’t had a body in centuries, it seems. I wonder, how long this will last?” He said it as if he was genuinely asking her, as if she knew more about this than he did.
Alice’s eyes widened as she slowly lifted her hand off of Lucas’s arm. This hadn’t happened to her, someone being taken over by their deity, but she imagined that this was what Rafael had experienced to an extent. Uke Mochi had, by the end of it all, been in her own body and speaking through her own mouth. This… this was what was happening now.
“I’m Alice,” she said softly, her eyes glued to him. “I...I don’t know if you know me or have seen me through Lucas’s eyes. I’m… I’m a baker. I’m friends with Lucas.”
“Alice, yes...that is familiar. He’s quite fond of you, you know,” he said with a bit of a mischievous grin. Alice’s cheeks grew pink. “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Alice, I’m Apollo,” he said, extending a hand in friendship to her. He smiled warmly at her and then let go, looking up and around the kitchen they were in, and then down at the bag on the counter. He frowned just a little and sniffed at the top, a delighted smile lighting up his eyes. “Ambrosia?” he asked happily, “however did you make it? Are you too possessed of one of the gods? Athena perhaps? Or Artemis?”
“Um, no, well, yes,” Alice stammered, moving toward the counter and grabbing the bag of donuts. She glanced about until she found paper towels and pulled one free before reaching into the bag and offering it to Apollo. “It seems I have a god in me, but not a Greek god. Her name is Uke Mochi. She’s shinto and I am a baker. This is a cider donut...the rest are for Lucas but I don’t think he’d mind if you had one.”
Apollo frowned just a little, taking in all of this information, but then brightened again. “Well, if I have met Uke Mochi before it must have been a long, long time ago, because I don’t remember,” he said apologetically.
“Well, I haven’t eaten in a very long time...” He eagerly took a bite of the offered treat, his eyes slipping closed with pleasure. “This...do-nut is the best nut I’ve ever tasted,” he declared as Alice smiled, laughter held back but showing in her eyes. “I would hire you for my personal staff, if I still had a personal staff,” he added with a grin. “I should visit this world more often, if it means sampling such delights!” He took another bite and sighed softly as the sugary goodness melted in his mouth. Then, as if just noticing she was still there, he put the donut down on the counter and looked at her a little more closely, taking her hands and leading her to sit with him at the nearby dining table.
“Tell me...do you know how this was accomplished?” he asked, “how I came to be in control of this body? I have been just a mere passenger for most of his life. Has Lucas spoken well of me?”
“Uh, not really,” Alice replied as she took a seat across from him. She sat straight, her hands placed politely with one on top of the other on the table, and maintained eye contact. She felt like it was only proper, because this was a god, wasn’t it? “It’s happened to me once before, but I don’t remember anything really. And it was more pronounced, my body turned into Uke Mochi’s. She didn’t just possess me, she became me, or I her. You...seem to be in Lucas’s body. Or is this how you’ve looked?”
Apollo looked down at himself, turning his hands over and again touching his chest and stomach. “Ahh, no,” he said with a grin, “I was much more toned than this body is, and far more tanned. I was called the golden god for a reason, after all,” he added with a wink. “But I suppose as far as humans go, this one is quite fit. He obviously takes care of himself. Do you often bring him do-nuts? No wonder he likes you so much…”
Alice smiled, her cheeks pink as she shifted on her seat. She considered her reply for a moment, then realized that she didn’t remember what Uke Mochi had said to Rafael when she was present, so Lucas likely wouldn’t either. “Ah, no, I don’t bring him donuts often but I do bring him other treats. But I’m glad he feels that way, I like him, too.” She smiled again and looked at her hands shyly as she considered what she could do with Apollo. She didn’t want to leave him alone, figuring that Lucas would be confused when he came to, but she wasn’t at all sure what to say to this Greek god.
Apollo smiled warmly at her, “he would be happy to know that, young one,” he said. “Have you two…” he trailed off, the meaning of his question quite clear in his expression. He shook his head, looking off into the middle-distance. “I’m so out of touch with what goes on. I get...glimpses, I guess, emotions and thoughts rather than details, but I haven’t yet been able to communicate with him.” He looked at her now, “does your Uke Mochi speak with you? I’d like to learn how.”
Alice bit at her lip as she tried not to smile, her cheeks now sporting a semi-permanent blush. Instead of answering the earlier half-asked question, she focused on Apollo’s later one. “I haven’t ever heard her speak to me directly,” she admitted, slipping her hands off the table and tucking them under her thighs. “I get feelings sometimes, like, feelings of approval or warning, I guess. They seem sort of out of place and not entirely my own, so I wonder if that’s her. I’ve spoken to her before in a dream though. She seems more capable of meeting me there.
“Also, when she visited last, she told my friend Rafael that she didn’t mean to harm me. So she sort of passed messages on to me through him.” She tilted her head to one side, her red hair falling in a wave as she narrowed her eyes slightly. “Is there anything you’d like me to tell Lucas? I can pass along the message to him.”
His brows rose in surprise, as if he hadn’t considered the idea. “I’m not sure…” he trailed off, thinking. “We have been happily coexisting for a long time. I don’t even think he is aware of me,” he said, as if confiding in a friend. “Maybe that is all...that I am here? Or that...as you say, I do not mean him harm?” He looked down at himself, thinking for a moment, and then grinned. “He should get more sun,” he added with an impish grin. “Maybe you should take him to the beach.”
His eyes slid from hers, taking on a far-away look for a moment. “A dream...I’ll have to try that…”
“Do that,” Alice approved. “And I’ll try and get him to the beach. But in the meantime, I’ll tell him that. You’re here, you mean him no harm, and you’re very nice.” She flashed a smile. “Is there anything else you’d like to know? I don’t know how long you’ll be here… I mean, Uke Mochi was only here for about an hour.”
“Why thank you,” Apollo said with a charming smile, “and you are a very sweet mortal,” he added pleasantly. He sighed and thought for a moment, and then something occurred to him. “There was one thing I was wondering,” he said, leaning on the table and looking at her. “I don’t see much, but what I do see of this world fascinates me. Things have changed so much! Now...I know that the power of the gods has…faded,” he said, that last word sounding almost mournful. “I foresaw as much a very long time ago. But tell me...do mortals...still speak my name? Do they remember us at all?” His eyes and voice were hopeful, desperately needing to hear that their memory hadn’t been completely forgotten.
“Ah…” Alice bit at her lips and glanced around, deciding how to best approach this subject. Carefully, she began, “I mean… Greek mythology has fared better than the others. It’s taught in schools but it’s presented as old stories. The other mythologies aren’t really taught, I think it’s left to people’s cultures or curiosity for them to find out more. So people still know of Apollo but...I can’t say anyone really believes it to be real anymore. I’m sorry.”
He frowned, and it seemed as if some inner light had dimmed. “I see,” he said quietly. “I was afraid of this, ever since I received the prophecy. I didn’t share it with the others because of this...because unlike other prophecies, there was nothing we could do to stop it. So why bring additional misery with this knowledge?” He asked her as if looking to her for absolution for his decision. He alone of the gods, or at least of the Greek gods, had seen this coming. And he had made the decision to keep the others in the dark about it. “But perhaps...in you, we can live on. We can still influence this world, even if it’s in a much smaller way.” There was hope in his voice again, but less than before. He looked at her again, a small smile on his lips.
“For instance, I can help you,” he said softly. “You’re in pain, I knew it the moment I saw you.”
Alice blinked and leaned back slightly, her guard going up and her previously happy expression fading. “I’m...I’m not in pain,” she replied. She wasn’t in pain, at least not physically, this was true. Mentally was another story and she had barely the ability to bring this up to any of her friends, let alone someone who was possessing her friend and crush.
He smiled warmly and put a hand on hers. “You are, in here,” he said, reaching up with his other hand to gently caress the side of her face. “You’re troubled by something, and it won’t go away until you let it out.” He held her eyes with his, warmth and kindness seeming to radiate from them. “You can tell me, and you’ll feel better,” he promised, his voice, his features, promising safety.
Alice narrowed her eyes and shook her head. “I appreciate the offer, but I doubt you can really help,” she replied with a sigh. “I am troubled, I suppose, but it’s due to this place--the apartment. Weird things keep happening and while I get over it each time, there’s always going to be more weird things down the road, you know? So thank you for your concern, you’re very kind, but unfortunately I don’t believe you’d be able to help me unless you were able to find a way to break my lease and get me a new apartment nearby.”
Apollo gave her an indulgent smile, though it was clear that he didn’t quite want to let this go. He wanted to help, he was a healer, and he hadn’t been one in a very long time. But he would respect her wishes.
She smiled sadly and then let out a small laugh. “Sorry, I’m a Debbie Downer.” She sighed and let herself relax in her seat as she eyed the man across from her, her brow furrowing with worry. “Do...do you think Lucas will come back? Ever?”
He looked almost alarmed. “Ohh! Do you want him back?” he asked, suddenly looking a touch embarrassed. “Was I interrupting something between you? I apologise. It was very nice to meet you, Alice,” he said with a warm smile. He looked down at his hands again, as if trying to read something on his palms. “Now, if I can just...how do I…” his eyes seemed to flicker, as if with candlelight, and then Lucas slumped forward slightly, dizzy.
“Woah…” he said, bracing himself against the table, though very glad he’d been sitting down. “That was...weird…” He looked up quickly, as if trying to assure himself that Alice was in fact there, and that he hadn’t dreamed the entire thing. “Alice,” he sighed, a relieved smile lighting up his face.
Alice’s expression immediately brightened as her smile broke across her face. “Lucas! Hi!” And without thinking, she leaned out of her chair and embraced him, squeezing him tightly. “Oh, I was worried you wouldn’t come back! But you don’t even know, do you?” She pulled back and stood up straight, smiling still. “Apollo was here, he… he was you.”
Lucas hugged her back, holding on maybe a little longer than was necessary for friends, and reluctantly let go when she did. His head was buzzing with what had just happened, and he was glad for the moment to think. But her question brought up an uncomfortable issue. She thought he didn’t remember...but he did.
Briefly, he considered not telling her. It would be easier for her, it would spare her the embarrassment of knowing what she had confessed, essentially to him, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to bear the guilt of lying to her. He would never do that to her, especially now that he knew she felt the same as he did.
He sighed softly and took her hand, gently, loosely, so that she could snatch hers back if she wished. “I know,” he said, first looking at their hands, and then at her. He smiled warmly, slightly different than that same expression on Apollo. “I could see, Alice, and hear.” He let her make of that what she wanted, but he wouldn’t push her to talk about it if she’d rather have time. He didn’t expect anything, she wasn’t bound to act on what she’d told Apollo; his heart was warmed just by knowing how she felt.
“Oh,” Alice replied as she stood very still, her cheeks flushing brilliantly and after a moment, she managed to close her mouth and nervously tuck her hair behind her ear. “Um, right then, so…” she glanced around, awkward with the knowledge that he knew, and turned her gaze to the kitchen. Switching subjects, she could do that and figure things out later. “So, you know that he only ate one of your donuts. Would you like some more? That’s why I came up, I wanted to share.” She realized her hand was still in his and took a step towards the kitchen, her hand tightening on his and tugging him forward, a silent acknowledgement that she knew he knew and it was ok, while something not to be discussed...yet.
Lucas smiled, delighted that she hadn’t let go of his hand, and let her pull him up from the chair. The dizziness was gone now, but he kept his hand in hers, following her into the kitchen. “I definitely do,” he said. He had a lot to think about, but he wasn’t in a rush to do any of that yet. So he had a god of the sun inside him, and he’d found out somewhat awkwardly that his feelings for Alice were returned. They both knew it now, but aside from a hint of embarrassment, it hadn’t seemed to change anything for them. At least, not yet.
He accepted the donut she gave him and eagerly took a bite, the pastry filling his mouth with ambrosia, and his heart with happiness.