|Daniel Ciin (miaiphonos) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2011-10-10 08:02:00
|Entry tags:||ares, hera|
welcome to war
Who: Hera & Samuel/Ares.
What: Sleep just to dream her...
When: 12:13 a.m.
Warnings: Violence, language, etc etc.
Notes: Placeholder for a GDocs log.
The dreams had been more frequent of late; so, too, had they grown more intense, more real, and almost distressingly long. A single dream seemed to last for days, sometimes weeks, as the thing - the person - who wasn’t Samuel watched carnage unfold in his wake. Battles were fought, and whole wars. Their settings were places unknown to their dreamer, though they seemed to him familiar all the same. The weapons were different, the means and modes of warfare somewhat changed as well, but ultimately upon waking each night Samuel felt that what he had borne witness to was every bit as much a part of himself as his tours of duty in the sandbox. It was him, and not, and all of it was right.
That night he fell asleep intensely thirsty, and his god-self awakened in the bright heat of day. He could not have said where he was, only that he was grateful for the breeze, that blessed coolness that slipped over bronzed limbs, drying the beads of blood and sweat that lingered on his skin. A presence well known to him, but long counted lost, lingered at the edges of his perception. He could not have said if he was happy to see her; he suspected she would feel the same toward him.
It was a statement of fact, nothing more; it lacked judgment as much as it lacked enthusiasm. Ares strode forward, burnished eyes narrowing as he sought the shape he knew so well.
Hera stared out over the horizon, acutely aware of the presence behind her but willfully ignoring it. Despite her rather standoffish approach, there were some things that were inherent to parenting. She always knew when her children were near, and she always knew which one it was. Each of her children had a distinct vibration, some of them were more pleasant than others. Hebe, Eileithyia and the Graces were pleasant. Even Pasithea, despite her paternity, was a presence she welcomed. Her daughters brought her joy and were welcomed to her side.
Her sons were another story. Hephaestus represented failure, and as such, he was an uncomfortable presence. She did her best to distance herself from him. He had failed to fulfill his purpose in her life, and thus he was kept at arms length. He proved to be useful from time to time, and so she could not bring herself to be completely rid of him. She just could not muster an ounce of maternal tenderness for him.
Then there was Ares. How she had such hope for him. As the first child, she had carried high hopes for the tiny life she had fostered in her womb. She had never been a wide eyed innocent, but perhaps she had been a tad naive. She had never imagined an infant could be disappointing until Ares. She had known immediately that this was no child of hers. This child was his father’s through and through and it sickened her. Had she not been the one to protect him, to nurture him within herself? What right did he have to repay her by lacking any of her sensibilities and manners. How could he be nothing but a copy of his father?
Her expression became somewhat pinched as she decided to acknowledge that disappointing son of Zeus. She could ignore him, but he was persistent and determined. He would not go away quietly at her silence.
“Ares,” she said flatly, lacking any hint of emotion or warmth. He had yet to present himself in a manner that deserved either, and she did not give them freely. From time to time, a glimmer of maternal connection and tenderness did rise in her in regards to this son that had so betrayed her, but she quickly put them back in the box they sat in, knowing that now the gesture would appear hollow and would be wholly unwelcomed.
“Your father is not here,” she said quickly, her back still to him. “It is you and I alone.”
He would have liked to hear more tension in her voice, but he might have guessed she would not give him that. She knew too well how he craved attention, how he fed equally well upon it whether it was pleasant or otherwise - and how, more often than not, he truly preferred the latter. How he yearned to raise her hackles, to see her drop that veil of well-heeled and thoroughly practiced calm, but he knew it would take more than his mere presence to shake that firm facade.
“Is it so hard to believe I would come to see you?” he asked. He sidled up alongside her, his eyes cutting over to hers. Leaning in, he all but forced her to meet his gaze, petulantly putting himself directly in her line of sight. Samuel’s deeply buried psyche stirred, recognizing enough of Hera’s features to place her for who she was in the waking world; annoyed with his vessel’s attempt at resurfacing, Ares pushed him down again, firmly taking the reins as he would a headstrong steed. “Can’t a man pay his respects to his mother?” His hand reached out, golden brown and impossibly warm where it brushed her smooth skin. “It has been so long. Haven’t you missed me?”
How very much like his father. She wouldn’t give him what he wanted, so he forced her to do so. They were brutes who would strong arm you into giving them what they wanted. After they got what they wanted, you were discarded and thrown to the side for the next challenge, with little regard given to your feelings on the subject. She inwardly frowned. She refused to let the expression settle on her features. Ares would take it as a response to his actions, when it wasn’t. Far from it. She needed to focus on the subject at hand.
She gave Ares a cool, assessing gaze and refused to back down from him. She did not shy from his touch and stared down her nose at him. She was a tall woman, but he was taller. She had perfected the art of staring down her nose at those that towered over her eons ago. It was a look she gave Ares frequently.
“Child, when have you ever come to see your mother unless you wanted something?” All his life he had wanted something from her, affection, attention, love, mothering, all things she had no interest in giving or even the know how to do so. When your first memory is of your mother handing you to your father to be swallowed and growing cramped as you grew along with the number of occupants, you knew you did not have the best role model to emulate in regards to parenting.
Had she missed him? She did not know. She rarely had time to focus on whether or not the absence of her children affected her. Zeus and his determination to make a fool out of her and tending to those who called upon her and worshipped at her temples took a good majority of her focus. She would not answer him. Any answer she gave would not be satisfactory.
She changed the subject. He needed to be taken down a notch, and referring to him as child was not going to be enough to do so. “I see you struggle with control.”
There were no outward signs of it that anyone but a mother, even an absentee one, would recognize. She shared the struggle, making it all the more recognizable. Her mortal was a control freak. It was one of the traits she had liked about her, but she did not know her place yet. She would not let him know. She was far more practiced at control than her son.
Her allegation was not entirely incorrect. He did not recall having instigated this dream, but his mother had been in his thoughts of late. It had occurred to him, having had earlier dreams of his consort, sisters, and son, that perhaps his mother might have some advice for extending this power, the end goal being, of course, maintaining control longer, more strongly, and during waking hours. This seemed vital knowledge to him, information he felt he knew and held at the tips of his fingers, yet which remained infuriatingly out of reach. Somehow he had dared to hope she would understand, and might have some insight she would of course share with her dear firstborn. It had been a long shot, he knew, but not wholly out of the question. No matter her initial reaction to him, surely he could make her see the importance of this.
“He and I are too alike,” he said, his voice edging close to a growl. But for all the earnest frustration he felt at Samuel’s grasping for power, Ares was not at all dissatisfied; the upward lilt of his softly curling smirk betrayed him. “It makes him think I am some part of him he can bend to his will.” A chuckle passed his lips, dark and dangerous. Though his desires often ran closely parallel to those of his vessel, this would not always be the case, and Ares had lived long enough to know his mortal’s grip on him could not last forever. One day it would break again, and he was ready to embrace that opportunity the moment it came. “He’ll learn the right of it soon enough.”
He straightened up once more, shifting, putting a scant inch of fresh space between them. He studied her, looking over the proud lines of her bearing, wondering what she hid from him now. “And you?” he asked. “He knows of your avatar. Do you like your little arrangement with her?”
She hadn’t seen much of his host, but judging from what she had seen, his words were true. She felt the same about her. She saw much of herself in her host; it was what had drawn her to the girl. However, unlike Ares, her mortal was young and naive. She did not like Hera taking control but she had no way to combat against her. The stupid mortal was convinced she had all the answers. Her thought process was almost cute. She did have more going for her than most mortals, but she was still a mortal, and a young one at that. Mortals never became anything until they’d lived quite a few years. They were terribly slow to pick up on things.
“She suits my purposes. Unlike you, however, I do not exist in a power struggle with my mortal. She knows better.”
She remained in her position, still, tall and looking down her nose at him. She refused to walk away or back down. She would not weaken herself in any respect before her son, especially when she was unsure of what their purpose was here. Who knew how long they’d be stuck together like this, confined together in the realm of the human mind.
To Ares it was readily apparent that what knowledge she had of this condition - if she had any at all, a fact he suddenly doubted - was information she was yet unwilling to share. His hackles were raised by what he recognized as deliberate withholding, but he could not see that as a turn entirely for the worse. His heart beat a bit faster at the prospect of a fight; somewhere else, beyond, his mortal’s form stirred in its sleep.
“The struggle is part of the fun,” Ares said, sneering down at her. “I would have expected you to understand that.” He tried for an expression of pity, brow furrowed, mouth downturned in a full, boyish pout. His eyes held hers, laughter dancing in their depths. “What a curse to be trapped in a vessel with no fire.”
A patronizing smirk curled her lips erased the blank expression she had been deliberately holding. His sneer was cute. She’d hit a nerve with something she had done or said and had set him off. It wasn’t something a mother should be proud of, but she was. Being able to get under his skin, to illicit that sort of reaction from him, made her proud. It gave her power in a situation where she typically had none. She was not known for her battle skills, her strength or her conquests. Compared to other Olympian’s she was a rather benign being. When she was able to get to those who were worshipped for the prowess and ability, it reminded her that, in the end, she would always have the upper hand. Their strength did nothing for them when it came to emotions, absolutely nothing.
“The fact that you struggle with a mortal makes me wonder if you’re truly worthy of your title boy. No mere mortal should be so overpowering that you find yourself struggling to command.”
He laughed at that, truly laughed, a deep and rumbling sound. “I would accept nothing less than a fight from my avatar,” he said. “Years away from our home, bereft of overt worshippers, have weakened us all, and you are a fool if you believe otherwise. In my height I might have burned the flesh from his bones and walked in my own skin among his family and friends. But now?” He shrugged, airy and unconcerned. “He does not defy me. He pursues what I love, and lives utterly for my causes. He is a fine priest of my purview. But he has a strong and willful spirit. If a warhorse does not buck now and again, he deserves to be castrated and put down.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, nostrils flaring. “Enough,” she spat, enunciating every syllable of the word with the venom of her temper.
“You should know good and well that I am not so foolish to believe things have not changed. The situation now is about coping as best as possible, and that does not include going to war with the girl. It does not help the situation or get us back where we belong. Has it gotten you any answers, fighting with this Samuel person? Has it accomplished anything at all?”
She turned and put some distance between the two of them, fingers massaging her temple as she walked with quiet, yet purposeful steps. “We’re stuck, and for what purpose I do not know. I do not know how long we have in this plane, either. But something has to be done.”
Ares did not follow her; he had made his point well enough, and she hers. It was enough to know that after all these years they could still raise one another’s hackles. He could not suppress a grin at the thought.
“Something will be done,” he said, though if asked, he could not have answered what. To Ares it was of no consequence. “And when it does, your pet mortal would do well to seek mine out. When trouble does come, you will want strength and will at your side, not soft-hearted compliance. You will see.”
He turned to go, seeking the privacy and solace of his avatar’s mind. He had had enough of family squabbles; deeper within his human’s psyche lay the memories of war, and to those he now wished to return. “Goodnight, mother. Until next time.”