I roll off Helios. I’m in my female form, and I honestly can’t remember if I went to sleep that way. I look back at my bed partner and note with a chuckle that he is still glowing ever so softly, even in his sleep. His luminousness is a quaint contrast to my long pitch dark hair and the all-black clothes that I am pulling on. I am zipping up my boots when I hear him groan as he wakes.
“Are you running off again?”
“Why? You wanna go another round?” I smirk.
“No, I just thought, I mean, we have done this once or twice since that first tour of the God Complex after my ceremony. I thought we might actually get breakfast or something like that, you know, do something with clothes on at least.” He chuckles.
“You wanna fight?” I giggle as I spin back around, fists up.
“I’d love to fight a sun god. They get such hype, you know?” I wink. “I’d like to see what the fuss is about.”
He casts me a bewildered expression, and I laugh.
“What were you hoping I’d say?” I laugh. “You wanna go grab a coffee and talk about our dreams for the future? How many Drew Barrymore/Kate Hudson/Julia Roberts movies you been watching?.”
“I do not know who they are. I guess I have been locked away for a long time, and I—”
“And you’ve built up a nice cozy fantasy of being in love.” I mock heave. “That’s not what’s happening here, Hel. This is a bit of fun, fun that I’d be okay with continuing, if only for a bit longer at least, but fun nonetheless. Trust me. I’m not what you’re looking for long term.”
He looks disappointed. What in Tartarus does shining boy wonder want with a second-rate Wednesday Addams like me? Maybe I should set him up with Thalia…
“Is it weird because of my sister? Do you still have a crush on her?”
“Did I have a crush on her? Huh…I can’t really picture that anymore. That’s cute. Nah, if anything, that kind of thing would just be more of a turn-on. I’m all about the controversy.”
“Oh,” he starts softly with a nod, lowering his voice as if it weren’t just the two of us here, “is because of your gender identity? Because I am fine with that. I mean, we are Greek, after all. We are all pretty fluid.” He shrugs.
Okay, that was pretty cringe-y.
“Stop while you’re ahead, Glowworm.” I pat the top of his head like one would a puppy.
“Well, I am afraid I am not what you are expecting either if you are hoping for a good fight.”
“I think the smoldering pile formerly known as Icarus would disagree with that,” I scoff.
“I hate to sound like every reckless driver on the news, but that kid ran into me.” He laughs. “It’s not like I could swerve the sun without causing an extinction-level event.”
I look at him long and hard for a moment as I adjust my bomber jacket.
“So you’re saying you can’t fight?”
“And you’re currently the first reformed Titan, post the Titan insurrection, with all these judgemental jerks wanting to blame you for that shit?”
“Uh, yes…I suppose.”
“Oh man, you’re gonna get whooped in the playground like the kid who calls the teacher mommy.” I laugh and grab his hand, pulling him out of bed.
“Whoa!” he yelps.
“Come on, let’s go,” I say, pulling him toward the door.
“Where are we going?”
“I’m gonna show you how it’s done.”
“May I put on pants first?”
I look round at him, realizing he’s still naked.
“Oh yeah, I suppose,” I wink at him, “If you must.”
We find a deserted peak near Olympus. I’m still in female form, but I’ve changed my wardrobe into a black tank top, ripped black leather pants, and my combat boots, my long hair now in a tight ponytail.
Helios, seemingly just for the fun of it, has favored a white tee-shirt, off-white/beige cargo pants, and light tan boots. Perfectly symbolic, all the moral ambiguity of the Lord of the Rings.
He puts up his dukes like Guy Ritchie making a Bugs Bunny movie. I stifle a laugh and stretch, cracking my neck like I’ve cracked so many others before.
“Okay, lunge at me,” I say, motioning him forward.
“Are you deaf from all the screaming in Tartarus?” I say in a mocking voice. “Come at me.”
He jumps forward sloppily. I easily dodge and smack him on the back of the neck, allowing his momentum to take him to the ground.
“Try again,” I say, smacking him on the ass.
He rolls his eyes, gets up, and swings, very nearly hitting me.
“Better. Let’s try something.”
I let loose some stored up chaos, warping his perception. The background seems to blur, and my appendages shift out of proportion. I take a swing at him from like a distance, causing him to duck and weave shots that might as well have been a mile off.
“Hey, no powers!”
“When did I say that?” I laugh, ricocheting off a rock formation and landing a flying kick right on his chin, sending a splatter of gold to the ground.
“You want me to do all the work for you?” I say, grabbing him by the throat as he flails, and I make sure my eyes are glowing gold for this next bit. “I could pump you full of so much frustration and adrenaline that you’ll fight harder than you could ever imagine.” I release him with a smile. “But that would defeat the point of this little exercise. Use your own damn powers.”
He stumbles backward.
“Yeah, I dunno.” He sighs. “I don’t usually use them that way. I write messages and make sure it’s a nice day for sailing.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I roll my eyes sprinting forward, pushing off his chest, “the hills are alive and all that shit. Hit me!“
A burst of light suddenly erupts from his hands, sending my vision spinning and going dark. I feel my ass hit the rock as I laugh.
“Are you okay?” he asks, pulling me up.
“Are you serious?” I giggle, my vision waving back into shape. “That was great.”
“I almost hate to admit it,” he says with a shy smile, “but it was a bit of a rush.”
“Now, you wanna go another round?” I wink.