Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 25, 2019 19:05:30 GMT -5
There was a large silence around Nico. Maybe the sense that he was hurting and that there was a difficult enough time reaching him at the best of times. But at least Sam and Myrnin couldn't chase him here. Instead, it came down to a single figure. He edged around any obstacles in his way, as he would have when he was alive. He slowly lowered himself down to where Nico had fallen, crouching near the son of Hades. "Nico," he said gently, his voice low. The shade of Arthur hesitantly reached out, as if he was going to rest his hand on Nico's shoulder. Instead, it descended enough that it was just a little bit within Nico's shoulder at this point. It mimicked a comforting gesture, but the man couldn't really do better than that. Not without possibly hurting Nico more in the process. "Nico?" he repeated. "What is happened?" His voice was sympathetic. It was slightly lower picked than the tone of Arthur of the House. But Arthur of the House had been fifty years the junior of this Arthur. At least in body and memory. Ghosts were funny things. This sort of entrance by the son of Hades was very unusual for the old alchemist. It worried him. He glanced at Nico's hands as well, frowned, and shifted his position so he was sitting near Nico. This didn't seem like an escape from an attack. A different desperation surrounded the demigod. Arthur could feel it almost like someone was playing his own body like a harp string - the emotions resounding through him. He was sure the others in the Underworld felt the same. This felt more like grief. More so that Nico might feel toward any death. "Tell me," Arthur Dee said, voice the lowest it could possibly be. "Do not run, Nico. What you are feeling cannot be outrun." Though he meant it, though he was right it hadn't stopped the lines around his eyes from drawing together in sympathy. He just hoped Nico wouldn't simply run or retaliate in defense. He would not have blamed him if he had.
He had ended up here. He hadn’t meant to, but here he was and… well, there was Arthur. He didn’t deserve the ghost’s friendship, really, but now for the first time it felt like something he didn’t want either. “I came to see my father,” Nico murmured, voice breaking as he attempted to speak. He didn’t have to say why. The truth of it was plainly written on his face. Yet he had come here instead. He still couldn’t quite breathe. He doubted he could stand if he tried, so he remained where he was, sunken on the ground, face obscured as much as possible. He had given all he had to give, he knew that. Yet it still felt like there was too much inside of him. Jaw clenched, he funneled what little remained of his power supply at Arthur. Maybe if he dissipated into shadow he wouldn’t feel everything pressing in against his heart. Not like this, at least. The thought wasn’t a decision. It just happened, the runoff of his power needing to leave him because he already had too much building up inside of him. Nico kept his gaze firmly away from Arthur. He knew the man was right, but that didn’t mean he had to admit it, even to himself. He wasn’t running away, was he? He could take his place here, as Prince of the Underworld and he’d never have to worry about it again. He would be powerful. But Sam would still be up there, on the surface, and Nico would still remember expecting a flash of recognition and getting nothing in return. No, his original idea was better. The Lethe wasn’t terribly far away. Deep down, he knew that he couldn’t do that to himself, but in the moment he wanted to. So badly it hurt. “I’m sorry,” he managed, but he couldn’t hold back the tide of hurt that poured out. He shouldn’t have come here, but he knew if he tried to shadow travel again with what little energy he had left… well, he wouldn’t make it to his destination.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 26, 2019 1:50:09 GMT -5
The grim line of Arthur's mouth drew further into one of sympathy. He might not know the specifics, but he knew that whatever reason Nico had for seeing his father would be spur of the moment. And it was fueled by emotions which were not likely to result in good decisions. The ghost's fingers were removed to a safer position firmly on Nico's shoulder as soon as Arthur had a bit more stability to work with. He might have reprimanded Nico for using his abilities like that, but he couldn't. And wouldn't. But now Arthur could brace his hand against Nico's back with a firmer gesture of support for the demigod. The hand rubbed across the back of Nico's shirt, attempting to reassure. There was no response to the 'sorry'. Instead, he said, "Cry." His voice was almost matter of fact. "If you feel like it, then do not hold it in. It might make you feel better." Arthur glanced up, glared a bit at the other souls that were nearby, and then glanced down again. "Come on. No one is watching." If the glare had worked then they wouldn't be. It wasn't like Nico's appearance had gone completely unnoticed, but Arthur wasn't going to have the whole of the Underworld hear that Nico the son of Hades had randomly shadow-traveled into his father's domain only to end up huddled on the floor with some unknown grief. Arthur's own body almost ached in reaction to everything that Nico was feeling. Nico might have sent his power supply to Arthur, but Arthur could almost tell that Nico was trying to take life out of his surroundings - even though life was in short supply down here. "You don't have to tell me what happened," he added. "But please stay here as long as you need to." Long then 'needed to', Arthur hoped. Because Nico's idea of what he needed at this point seemed very skewed. "It looks like you need a friend right now." He looked like he'd lost more than a friend ...
Nico clenched his jaw, staring at the ground as though if he won a staring contest with the earth he might be given some reward. Normally he would have flinched away from such a touch, but he knew he could whisk Arthur away as soon as he wanted if things went south. He wasn’t afraid of ghosts. It was the living that were much more difficult to be around. Or at least… those with bodies that still did what their mind required of them. He wasn’t sure vampires counted as the living. He had already cried once today. He didn’t want to do it again, but maybe Arthur had a point. Or maybe he was just drowning in his own pity like someone had once said to him… that he just needed to buck up and roll with the punches like everyone else. He didn’t feel much like rolling with this particular punch. If he had more strength he would have leaned into Arthur, but it was all he could do to hold on to consciousness and keep his hands from trembling. He wasn’t going to cry again. It would just make him lose control, and he was already on the brink of that. One breath. Then another. Keep the energy funneling into Arthur, keep the rest radiating away, thank the gods they weren’t close to Persephone’s garden because she would have killed him if he killed her plants, his father was lucky, his father… there were no magical laws Nico could take advantage of to bring his Sam to this world. Not like his father had with Persephone. What his father had sounded like a better deal than the hand Nico himself had been dealt. Distantly, he noticed he was shaking like a leaf, moments away from relinquishing all hold he had on his power. Why did it hurt like this? Why did it feel worse than the idea of Sam dying? Perhaps because there was an imposter wearing his face. No, not an imposter. Just a boy who hadn’t asked for a hurt demigod to barge into his life like that. “Imagine,” he began, voice weak. “If you hadn’t seen Myrnin in years.” He didn’t know if there was any imagining needed there. “But you hadn’t gotten to say goodbye the last time, you had just… talked about what you’d do next…” his voice broke and he caught himself after a moment. He knew it wouldn't take Arthur much to imagine that. Only Nico's situation wasn't Sam's fault the way Arthur's had been Myrnin's. “Next time. But there never was one. And then someone told you that you could see him again. So you go to him, and he… he looks at you… no, he looks through you, and he asks… he asks who you are.” His arms gave out and he rolled just in time to catch himself on Arthur. Despite his normal instinct, he curled closer, relying heavily on the presence of a friend, even if that friend couldn’t give the comfort of a steady heartbeat or a warm embrace.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 26, 2019 3:11:01 GMT -5
No, it didn't need any imagining at all really. But Arthur let Nico talk until he moved closer, and then the man moved his hand enough to rub at Nico's hair. It was a gesture he'd used with his own children. Children he'd had after Myrnin had left and after he'd had a new life. Neither better or worse, but different. One he didn't regret. But that didn't mean that there wasn't some in his other life, with Myrnin, that he hadn't desperately wished to repair. Enough that he had been trapped in such a desire for a very long time. But Nico, despite all his status as the King of Ghosts and son of Hades, was still a boy. And adults had enough difficulty with unfinished business, never mind situations like this. "I wish we had talked about what we'd do next time," Arthur murmured, almost hugging Nico at this point. Sure, there was no heartbeat or warmth to the comfort, but it was the best Arthur had and he offered it unconditionally. "It would have meant that we at least had some trust the other still cared. But we left each others' company upset. Furious with each other. I know how you are feeling. I kept expecting him to walk back through the door. Kept trying to think of some way that he would forgive me." Arthur's hand returned to Nico's back, were it once again gently rested there. "And when I was in the House for a while there was a time when neither of us really knew the other as we were supposed to. The world makes things difficult. I am sorry this happened to you." There wasn't anything Arthur could do about it, he knew. But it didn't stop him from being there. "It feels like someone is slowly breaking the foundation out from under you, and little by little you just wish that it would disappear. So you would know. So you would feel the drop. But then it finally does collapse and all this time you thought you were ready ... and you weren't." It felt like dying, but in a way you had to live with. Arthur kept himself near Nico, his hand combing comfortingly through Nico's hair again. "It's very hard. I can't give you a way out. And I can say it will be alright, but it wont sound believable right now. But it will be. If you can ... please sleep. You are tired, Nico." He knew it was unlikely that the boy wanted to do that. Even though he knew that while Nico might not want to sleep his body did. "Or if you can," he said, voice dropping again. "Tell me more about this hypothetical person who is clearly not Myrnin. Who are they?" There were different strategies that Arthur knew to handle the emotions that Nico was feeling. He just wasn't sure which would be best for the demigod. He seemed to have rejected the idea of crying.
The hand in his hair did it. Nico gasped in a breath, his body still shaking, but this time with silent sobs. His powers flared out as he lost it, and it was a good thing he was in the Underworld, though he could feel the pull of bones moving underneath the ground. He bade them to be still, but he no longer had faith that his carefully cultivated control would work as well as it had the past few years. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to get a hold of himself. He had really only let himself miss Sam from the House. Because it hurt too much to think of all the other people he had lost on top of it. Sitting here now, he could practically feel the soft fabric of Rae’s shirt from the days when he had been able to cling to her, her fingers running gently through his hair just as Arthur was doing now. He hadn’t let himself mourn his loss. Because it had never just been Sam. It was Rae and Kelsier and Kid and Tori and Noctin and Korra and Danny and Arlo and… and he had held on to this hope that maybe he would blink back one day. Or maybe they’d show up in his world by some strange coincidence. But now, knowing that he couldn’t have Sam… the realization that the others were really gone too crashed down on him heavier than any other burden he’d shouldered. Would it be easier to forget? About Sam, about the Sam that wasn’t his Sam, about the rest of the House as well? He didn’t know. “I wasn’t prepared to stop blinking,” Nico whispered, voice ragged. “I grew up there, I… I guess I thought it would be forever, and… dammit.” He shook his head, angrily wiping away his tears. “Children of Hades don’t get happy endings. We never have.” He turned, burying his face against Arthur for just a moment, still funneling everything he had left into the ghost. His vision was beginning to blur around the edges - he’d need to give it up soon, but not yet. “I’m not tired,” he protested, but even the surges of power that flared occasionally from him were beginning to slow down as his body ceased responding to his egregious demands. He took another breath, attempting to slow his sobs. “Sam.” The word felt like a knife. “Samuel Salinas, but apparently a different Samuel Salinas than the one here.” His hands were balled into fists, his nails digging into his palms as though that would keep him anchored to reality. “I don’t… I don’t know anything about love,” he admitted, eyes glazing. “I know when… when it hurts to look at someone because they’re burning brighter than the closest stars to us. I know… I know the way my chest seizes and I can’t say things right and I… I know laughing more than I ever would with anyone else, and I know that…” he glanced at his hands, the fading taking up far more of them than it had before. It spoke for itself. He was willing to risk that for what he felt. “I never told him.” Nico’s hand dropped to his side. “I thought I had already dealt with… with losing him.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 26, 2019 13:46:17 GMT -5
"This is not an ending," Arthur said, his voice suddenly furious. He leaned forward until he was sure he could catch Nico's eye. "Nico. This is not an ending." There was so much conviction in his voice that it could have almost outweighed the power within the air. "You are never prepared to have your life torn out from under you," Arthur said, voice lowering back to its sympathetic understanding. "But you are still alive. Your family in the House is not gone. They are just out of reach. They would not want you to give up on having a good life." Arthur let his hand comb through Nico's hand again. "But you are allowed to grieve." He didn't think Nico had allowed himself to do that before. He didn't think it had ever been allowed to the demigod. He had a persona around him and letting it crack in any way would have meant weakness. The ghost leaned into Nico a bit, though there wasn't any weight behind it. It was just to show the demigod that he hadn't left. That Nico could be safe here. "He knows," Arthur promised. "I know that it does not feel right - without saying the words - but he knows. They all know that you care very deeply about them. And I know Sam misses you. But I will tell you what they would want you to hear." Arthur let his hand drop a bit, then hugged Nico. "Grieve as you need to, Nico di Angelo. They all love you very much. You can hurt for as long as you need. But they are somewhere out there and they will always be by your side. Even if you can't see them. They are your friends and Sam more than that. You are never going to really loose them." Then Arthur fell silent. He fully expected that Nico's body would take over very soon and force the boy to sleep. Arthur didn't move though, still letting one hand alternate between rubbing Nico's back to combing through his hair. The son of Hades knew what death was. But Arthur wasn't sure if he truly had ever felt something wholly like it. He could come to the Underworld whenever he wanted. But the people of the House? They were in a place far away. Nico could only trust that they were okay. That they were somewhere. That didn't stop it from hurting. "Sleep," the ghost finally said. "You need to."
Nico grimaced. No matter what Arthur said, it was an ending, of sorts. He hadn’t quite let himself believe that. For two years he had been certain that he would blink back, but now… he didn’t know what had changed but he did know for sure that there was no returning from it. There was to be no seeing his Sam again. He had no way of even knowing if his friends were okay or what was happening in their worlds… it made him sick to his stomach. And he knew he could keep living this life, the life without the House, without the people who had watched him grow up… but that didn’t mean it was okay. He sighed. One day, they would all forget about him. That was a certainty that was difficult to deal with. They would all move on in their lives and in their worlds, but Nico didn’t seem capable of moving on. That was his fatal flaw, wasn’t it? Hanging tight to something that had happened long ago because he couldn’t let the past die? What did Arthur mean he was allowed to grieve? They weren’t… well, he wouldn’t know if they were or weren’t dead. The people in his world that he cared about, he could feel them. He had known when close friends died because he felt a part of him die with them. But he had no way of knowing for the people he loved in the House. It was a harsh reality to come to terms with. “That’s what they say when people die,” he whispered, voice cracking. “They’re wrong, though. Once someone’s dead, they don’t stay by your side, you know… you know it doesn’t work like that.” Even for him. When Bianca died… well, she hadn’t wanted to see him, had she? And then she had left. What raged inside him now felt like that, but worse. Because Bianca could still hear him when he called out to her so many times. She knew there was more he had to say. The people in the House would never know. One last shuddering wave of power emanated from the boy before it was all he could do to maintain the stream of power that passed from him into Arthur. It felt nice, to have the ghost beside him, holding on to him, comforting him… even without the warmth of life. His tears stopped, the remnants drying on his face. “I’m sorry,” he managed, finally meeting Arthur’s gaze. “Please… please stay, for a bit?” He knew it wasn’t his right to request such a favor, but he didn’t want to be alone. Even as he felt consciousness slipping from him. His eyes closed and he let blackness settle over him, the waves of power settling and the temperature warming - well, warming as much as it ever did in the Underworld.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 26, 2019 18:47:14 GMT -5
"No," said Arthur. "I know it does work like that. They do not need to be dead to stay with you. They do not need to be lost for you to hold onto them." But he wasn't sure that Nico could hear that. He was too tired, almost asleep at this point. But Arthur hugged him again. "When you close your eyes and see them. You can hear their voice in your head. Even if you can not, they are always with you, and have made you who you are. You can not loose people who have shared so much of your life. Their voices can cross any distance to reach you. Whatever the distance and whatever the obstacle, you will always have their love." He didn't know if Nico was in a shape to believe that. But grieving ... it didn't have to be when someone died. It only needed to be when you were sad over the loss of something or someone. But he thought Nico was too tired to hear such things. So instead Arthur simply murmured, "Of course I'll stay." He had nowhere to be. Nowhere other than here. Nico needed him and he was alright with that. Silence surrounded both of them.
Back somewhere on the surface, or more specifically New York, Myrnin was chewing on a fingernail. He was pacing back and forth over the floor of the hotel room, glancing around every now and again. He wasn't sure where Nico would go. Camp, maybe. He thought there were limited options and there weren't really any of them were he could go. "And he's a friend of yours?" Sam checked from some part of the hotel room that Myrnin wasn't paying attention to (he was on one of bar stools). Myrnin grumbled something under his breath before saying, "Yes. I've known him for a couple years now." He couldn't really comment on the fact that some Sam, somewhere, was dating (had been dating) Nico. He didn't know what to think about that. He didn't disapprove, but the idea that there was an alternate reality version of the boy he was taking care of was a very odd thought. "Do you know where he went?" asked Sam. "No," was Myrnin's curt answer. He was worried about Nico though ... He might have to try something to find him soon. Or try and get to Long Island. He bet he could find Camp Half Blood ... maybe. Or he'd just make a lot of noise somewhere and try to get Annabeth's or Percy's or ... whoever else's attention.
Nico woke up, still feeling more than a little bit drained. He looked around for a moment as though confused where he was, then recognized Arthur besides him. Reflexively, he began to funnel energy towards the ghost, but found his energy stores were nowhere near as full as he had anticipated. He cautiously glanced at his hands, his heart almost stopping when he saw how much more damage the fading had taken. He hid his hands in his pockets as quickly as he could, but he knew Arthur had probably already seen. He needed to stop using his powers… for how long, he wondered. How long before using his powers would cease to cause him harm? Before the harm he had already done was reversed? He shook his head, the questions too heavy to deal with when he had a pounding headache and emotions that were threatening to explode all over again. “You stayed,” he said to Arthur, meeting the ghost’s eyes. It seemed that his mask was now firmly back in place. There was no sign of the boy who was breaking down only hours before, though he did seem surprised that the ghost had abided his request. “Thank you.” — Something had gone wrong. Hazel had felt it in the Earth, a desperate pulse echoing underneath the surface. Over and over again, almost a distress signal. She had mounted Arion as quickly as she could, tearing over the countryside until she had arrived at Camp Half-Blood. There were the usual pleasantries exchanged, as though this was just another normal visit, but it wasn’t. Nobody seemed to have realized that something was wrong yet, or even that her half brother was missing. He was missing, that much was clear. She tried his cabin to no avail, and many his favorite spots. She could sense that he had been in the Labyrinth, but there was no telling how long ago nor whether there was any chance he was still there but further in. He would return to camp, eventually. He was somewhere underground, though Hazel didn’t relish the thought of going to find him. If he didn’t return within the day, she told herself, she would go after him, even if it meant facing Hades. Because if it had to do with Nico, it was going to be Hades, not Pluto. A shudder ran down her spine. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Oct 27, 2019 1:30:49 GMT -5
The mask was back and Arthur was sorry that it was. Nico's energy didn't reach him, so he was no longer very effective at any sort of hugging or kindly gesture. But he'd remained close to Nico. "You are most welcome," said Arthur easily. He'd noticed Nico's hands. He'd seen them before. They looked bad. But as with a lot of things, he couldn't actually fix it. No matter how much he wanted to. "What are you going to do now?" he asked. His head tilted a little, as if he was hesitant to offer. But then he nodded in the general direction of the area around where they were sitting. "Did you want to stay here for a bit?" Not exactly the place for the living, but Nico was a special case. And Arthur wasn't sure if he'd be going anywhere other than walking or by Hades' power anyway. He better not try shadowtraveling again. He wasn't sure what Nico was going to do. He'd realized that a loved one wasn't lost for a brief few seconds ... only to realize that it wasn't the person he thought it was. That in itself would have been enough to drive someone indoors for a little. But Nico had had to face loosing a family. Or he had a couple hours ago. Now Arthur didn't know what to make of how Nico was processing all of this. He only knew it wasn't healthy.
Well. This felt like the right way. Myrnin had a floppy hat perched on his head, but he didn't seem that impressed with the general layout of the area he was walking through. It felt like a country road, but it wasn't. And it was an island. He hated islands. Large islands he might have been okay with, but he really didn't like islands you could tell were islands. He'd almost been tempted just to walk all the way here. But Lady Grey had dropped him off instead, claiming that taking routes that the mortals used would mean he wasn't slogging around in wet clothing. Myrnin supposed that was right. And he liked avoiding a swim. Not like he hadn't had to swim for the small contraption he had holding in his hands. Since Nico wasn't around to interfere with the signal, he was pretty sure he was in the right direction for Nico's home. He continued down the road. About every step, he was tempted to think that he was walking toward the edge of the island. There were hills and trees and things, but no sign of a place that Half Bloods might live. He supposed that was the trick though, so he tuned that out and kept walking. Up a hill now, and it still felt like he was walking toward a strawberry field. Or maybe a bay, if he looked a bit further. Nothing really to see. But he kept following the pointing arrow. Maybe Nico lived on a house boat, Myrnin thought jokingly. But he thought it was something other than that. Something like the Morganville borders. So he kept going. He completely missed the tree. He had heard about the Mist from Nico, but he still didn't know if it actually effected him. Or didn't. He'd never seen monsters - or maybe he had but they hadn't been ones that others couldn't see. Then again, it seemed like the centers of godly power were focused in New York and somewhere in California (yes, he tested the machine back in Morganville to see). If that was the case, he had no doubt that the majority of the monsters would probably be hanging around the people who could see them. Which was all well and good, until he practically slammed into something which wasn't there. Well 'practically' was a bit of an understatement. He slammed into it with enough force that he bit his tongue. "AH!" he exclaimed, hurriedly leaping backwards. Then he grinned. And kicked out, foot connecting with something that felt very hard and was certainly not supposed to be there. Well. He'd found something alright. "So. Why would someone have an invisible glass wall around a strawberry field?" he loudly exclaimed to no one in particular. "Mighty suspicious!" He started to trace a line along what he assumed was a border. There was a house down there, somewhere. He could see it - though only just. He squinted at it, in mild hope it would turn into something more interesting. It didn't. But he didn't mind. "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeello!" he called. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyone home?" His voice carried. He wondered if banging into the border had set off any alarms. He hoped so. He took it there weren't many guests who came calling. And probably not many who couldn't actually waltz through this dingy border. "Well!" he said brightly, still talking very loudly. "If I can't actually get around it, can I climb over it." He knew he couldn't, but the thought of Nico was pushed out of his head in favor of scaling a tree. He wondered if the border destroyed monsters. He'd asked Nico if he was considered a monster according to demigod's ideas. He didn't think he was. Not according to the borders anyway. So maybe he was being read as a mortal. Or a cross between the two. In which case, it was probably going to be hilarious to see how long he was going to be left out here before he was noticed. He'd reached the upper branches of a tree then, perching there. Then he leaped forward, turning in time to run against the wall with his shoulder. He dropped straight down, feeling it against his back all the way down. "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee," he said. The drop would have broken a mortal's ankles, but Myrnin just landed with a slight bend of his knees on the soft pine needles. He turned, glancing back at the fields, and stuck his tongue out at them. "Aw, come on. Do better than that. Could at least give me a doorbell. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeello?" He wondered how likely he was to attract monsters. He was probably very uninteresting to them. Then again, he was probably very uninteresting to demigods. He did get a bright idea after a second. He fumbled in a pocket. He found a piece of paper after a second. Then he looked around, finding what he was looking for after a bit of loose digging. Very smug, he wrote a message on the piece of paper.
Less than three second later, something came crashing though one of the Big House's windows. It was lucky it wasn't the upper story one, or it might never be found. It was also luckily not to have hit anyone on the way through. When 'it' came to a halt, it was able to be IDed as a rock. A rock with a piece of paper firmly tied around it. It had to have been thrown a very long distance, but this was Myrnin they were talking about. The toss had been easy. The piece of paper could have been untied from around the rock, and in very big, bold letters a message was visible on the paper. GET A DARN DOORBELL, PLEASE.
Nico knew that he should go back up to the surface. The best thing to do would be to apologize and move on and pretend that none of this had ever happened, thank you very much, sometimes his powers made him more sensitive to certain kinds of people and it really had nothing to do with Sam. But that was the kind of lie Nico knew he wasn’t going to be able to get away with, especially not in front of Myrnin. Especially not when his stupid heartbeat was just going to give him away anyway. He wanted to jam everything inside of himself just as he always had, but that just meant waiting for it to explode eventually, which was… well, less than ideal. The last thing Nico wanted was someone getting stuck in the crossfire of him dealing with his own emotions. “I really should be getting going,” he replied, obviously reluctant. It was the last thing he wanted to do. He wanted to give Arthur more energy and stay here for as long as possible, holding on to Arthur as though the ghost could magically fix everything that had gone wrong. “But… staying for a little bit couldn’t hurt,” he added, swallowing. If he stayed he would have to see his father at some point, but maybe he would actually have the courage to ask about the way his power sucked life out of him. Maybe Hades would have a way to fix it. That was optimistic, though… Nico didn’t want to build up too much false hope. “If I’m not intruding on anything, of course. That’s… the last thing I want to do. But I…” a deep breath in. “I don’t think I want to be alone right now.” ... Hazel had decided to pay a visit to the Big House. There wasn’t exactly a room there for her to stay in, but she hadn’t wanted to sleep alone in the Hades cabin, and it wasn’t like there were many other places that she would feel comfortable sleeping, especially with so many people absent from Camp. The people she was truly close to were all at Camp Jupiter for various reasons, with the notable exception of Will Solace, but she really had only ever known him in passing. She had a lot of respect for the boy, but there was no way she was going to ask if it would be alright for her to sleep in the Apollo cabin. Theoretically, any cabin would be open to her, she knew. Jupiter… er, Zeus, if she mentioned she had Jason’s blessing, and any other cabin would have gladly let her in based on her contributions during the war. There were some favors she didn’t want to have to pull, though, especially given she would be up far later than anyone else no matter what cabin she decided to stay in. So she had spent the night in the Big House, and had stayed there when Chiron had entered. They had conversed briefly, but it was terse and clipped, and nothing like what Hazel had been prepared for. Nico’s disappearance had brought down the mood, though Hazel knew she was really the only one aware of it. She had avoided mentioning it to Chiron just in case the centaur decided to let the rest of camp know… or worse, told Hazel that Nico disappeared often and not to worry about it. Hazel knew that her half-brother had a penchant for running off and finding trouble on his own, and that he was capable of taking care of himself, but she had felt something and she wasn’t about to let it go. And then a rock broke through the window, disrupting the stilted small talk. Hazel leapt backwards, Imperial Gold sword in her hands in less than a second. It seemed that there was no attack accompanying the shattered window, though, just the rock that had been thrown through. If it had come from outside, it was an extraordinarily long throw. If it came from inside, then Hazel knew whoever had done it was going to get in big trouble, and not just with Dionysus. In general, Camp Half-Blood kids were more willing to risk getting in trouble than Camp Jupiter kids, but this seemed egregious even for some of the Hermes pranksters. Hesitantly, Hazel approached the rock. Taking a deep breath, she turned it over and pulled off the sheet of paper that was attached. It was almost impossible to believe. The likelihood of someone actually managing a throw from the barrier was… well, almost nothing. But whoever it was could see the Big House, which meant they were either a mortal who could see through the Mist, or a monster. Hazel wasn’t willing to take her chances with either one. Chiron seemed about to say something, but Hazel shook her head. “I’ll go check it out,” she told him, eyes narrowed. “I… I think it might have something to do with the reason I came here.” The way Chiron nodded implied that he knew a lot more about that reason than Hazel had let on. She needed to give the centaur some more credit. He hadn’t trained as many heroes as he had by being ignorant of what drove them or what could make them run across the country in less than an hour. “If I’m not back in half an hour, send for backup, please,” she added as a concession. Chiron nodded once more and Hazel was off, mounted on Arion and tearing through the strawberry fields until she had reached the barrier. She didn’t see anyone yet… which just meant that maybe she had been wrong about where the rock had come from. That would be a relief, she thought, but eventually a figure did come into view. Hazel took a deep breath. She wasn’t certain she was prepared to deal with this, whoever this was, especially if it had anything to do with Nico’s disappearance.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 6, 2019 17:32:11 GMT -5
There was no protest from Arthur. Instead, the ghost nodded and said, "You are free to stay." He wasn't going to make any sort of protest. He'd wanted Nico to stay if only because it might allow him to process things a bit better when no one was breathing down his neck or expecting him to just accept what had happened. "You're not in the way," he promised. He knew that Nico felt he had to leave. But that wasn't how it had to be at all. "Come on," he said, extending a hand that probably would be as insubstantial as he usually was, but was still an offer. "We can get you up. Somewhere other than this grass." At least it hadn't been horrible to stay on. Arthur could have picked several other places that Nico could have appeared in that would not have been very tasteful. The Fields of Punishment, for starters. Then again, maybe his desperate shadow-traveling had had intent, since Arthur had been able to find him relatively quickly. He might have been a bit surprised that other ghosts familiar to Nico hadn't turned up. But he had been fairly clear about the distance while Nico had been ... grieving ... so maybe if there had been some they had let for the time being. Arthur didn't mention Hades. He might, eventually, but right now he thought Nico needed to be somewhere where he could have a bit more peace of mind. ... Having a horse run in your direction at high speeds was rather fascinating. Not even a horse could usually outmatch the vampire in sight. But he hadn't been able to see more than a horse-shaped blur heading his way. Myrnin watched it, marveling a bit. Hum. He didn't move though. By the trajectory of the blur, they were going to miss him by over twelve yards and he could stand to wait around. He spent the handful of seconds it took for Hazel to get here to kick at the border a couple more times. He watched her out of the corner of his eyes, but otherwise didn't have any sort of reaction. Like he didn't even see her. He moved slowly. He wasn't stupid - he remembered what Nico's life had been like and how Camp Half-Blood demigods could fight. There might have been a slight temptation to see how it would go, but Myrnin was here for Nico. He didn't look up from the border - or where the border was - when he said, "Hello! Camp Half-Blood, right? Really would be a decent place for a doorbell. Or a rock launcher. Because honestly, having to aim? Not fun. I nearly hit it into the attic. That's a long throw, even for me. Well ... not really. But I like to complain. Don't suppose I get to come in, do I? I've already attempted to jump out of a tree to get over this ..." He sighed, then turned and glanced at Hazel. At least he looked human. Ignoring the clothing, he probably could even be considered as looking normal. "Nico di Angelo come back here? I'm looking for him. Also, don't suppose this is rude. But you smell like death. Are you a child of Hades or Pluto?" Both the names seemed to be perfectly normal for him to say, as if he was well aware of what each meant.
Why did getting Arthur’s permission to stay almost make Nico want to cry? He pushed the feeling back, knowing he had done a bit too much of that lately to truly be tolerable. It was a wonder Arthur was still willing to put up with him given the scene he had caused the night before. It was a wonder he’d run into Arthur… though perhaps it was intentional. He didn’t know, he had just acted and ended up where his mind had apparently been drifting. “Thank you,” he murmured, taking Arthur’s ghostly hand and getting to his feet. It was like ghosts were easier to hold onto because they couldn’t physically hurt him. They weren’t as tangible as the things that still kept him up at night this much later. Perhaps that was why Nico had resigned himself to spending so much time around ghosts after everything. They had asked him not to, told him to stay surface-side, but… well, he hadn’t. It had been too hard to stay there all the time, with living, breathing, unpredictable humans. Or… well, half-bloods, but the specifics didn’t matter. They were alive and the living tended to make decisions Nico didn’t always understand. They also tended to be far more touch-y than the dead. “I’m not really sure where we are,” Nico admitted, as though he was ashamed of not knowing. “I haven’t spent that much time in Elysium.” What was the point, if Bianca wasn’t there and the only other people that he knew were people that still blamed him for being a traitor? At least that was what Nico was almost certain of. Also, he really didn’t want to find out if Octavian went to Elysium. Technically he had been a loyal Roman soldier. --- Hazel eyed Myrnin suspiciously. It wasn’t often that people showed up at the border, speaking as though they knew what Camp Half-Blood was and being able to see through the Mist. And it wasn’t like the border was particularly effective against mortals who could see through the Mist. Hazel wasn’t stupid either – she may not have had the same abilities that Nico had, but she recognized death when she saw it, and Myrnin was very much not alive. It was interesting, she noted, though it did put her on edge. What was he? He wasn’t a ghost, that was for sure, and she doubted he was an Einherjar based on Annabeth’s description of them. Not that she would really be able to know that for certain – she didn’t know what their auras were supposed to look like. Narrowing her eyes, Hazel hopped off the horse and crossed her arms. “You aimed all the way from here to shoot that rock through the Big House window?” She cocked an eyebrow, but wasn’t as surprised as a mortal would have been. If anything, it just added to her conviction that Myrnin was a monster, though not one that she had ever heard mentioned in any of the myths they were likely to come across. It was, of course, possible he was from some other nation’s ancient folklore. It surprised her that there seemed to be so many able to coexist all at one time. She was about to say something when she heard Nico’s name and tensed. “What do you know of my brother?” It was clear from the edge to her voice and the glint in her eye that she, like Nico, could be quite dangerous when she wanted to, despite her overall cheery outlook on life. She was tough and unshakeable and still a child of the Underworld. The fact that Myrnin seemed to know that only made her less inclined to let him in the border. And why would this man be looking for Nico? Was this a trap of some sort, was this man the reason Nico had disappeared in the first place? “And no,” she added, voice tense, “You don’t get to come in until you explain who you are and what you’re doing here. And how you know Nico.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Nov 15, 2019 4:35:03 GMT -5
"Not much to say about that," admitted Arthur. He was hesitant when he looked around, but he was still willing enough to guide Nico's eye by nodding toward some buildings. Like the general style of the Elysiem fields, there was just the feeling that everything was trying to coexist at once - and somehow manage it. There was just ... history. History as the afterlife viewed it, at any rate. The grass itself was a reminder to where they were - somewhere other than the living world - as it rippled with multifaceted colors. Arthur rather liked it, but he had said to Nico that there would be a bit more than a field to look at. He assumed the boy would like to get away from things. He would have liked to encourage Nico to enjoy the service world. But Arthur was also no fool. He knew that there wasn't much chance of that right now. Now, Nico needed the comfort of the dead. "Come on," Arthur said, feeling a bit like he was repeating himself. Nico was currently on a slight hill and if he walked just a bit further it would had been very easy to have a way back onto the sidewalk. Arthur trotted, or at least as much as he was expected to trot, the couple feet down it before checking that he wasn't going too fast for Nico. There wasn't really any reason for Nico to be down here. Much less in this place. He could have been with his father and it would have been more logical. But Arthur liked that he was here, just because he knew that this was a place Nico could hide. He would have preferred Nico found a place someone different, somewhere with friends who were and still had a life to lead. But he was hopeful that would come in the future. Instead, he led Nico in a direction that he seemed to know well ... The building wasn't large. Any building or residence seemed to be here and never seemed to worry about things like physical distance. Or at least that's what it looked like. Explaining exact science to an afterlife would have been redundent and frankly foolhardy. Arthur had a house. And something that could practically be called a place of business, though how that worked probably shouldn't be thought too much about either. But the house was cozy. It would have been slightly familiar to Nico, though Arthur had never brought him there before. It was the same building, however, that Arthur and Myrnin had stayed in (and later, for a time, his wife). From Nico's memories, there would have likely been snatches of it. "Sit," said Arthur. It was a request, given with a smile, but it was a firm one. "I practically hear you worrying you'll run into someone you know. I highly doubt it. For starters, I highly doubt they know me." Arthur still seemed to be fairly ghostly, but he still stayed near Nico. "Though I admit that I'm probably nowhere near close to being entertaining enough for a visit from an old friend." Arthur might have referring to his own appeared age or maybe just the fact that Nico didn't exactly come to see him. "Did you want anything?" He waved around absently, referring to everything here. "I'm not sure there's much that accounts for the living, but I do still feel better offering." He sat down at a place across from Nico and inclined his head ever so slightly. Then he asked quietly, "Do you intend to find Myrnin and the others again?" --- "You mean 'what' I am," Myrnin said drolly. He wasn't even certain that Nico had ever mentioned to anyone who he was or even breathed a syllable about what had happened in the House or that he had grown up in another dimension. People might have tended to think he was crazy. It was a natural if a rather hasty reaction. Even still, he didn't much mind Hazel's question - no matter what underlying meaning they might have had. "I'm a monster. Probably. By your standards anyway. Though I doubt I actually follow much of your standards." His hands remained in view, but after a second he nodded at the leaf litter and pine needles on the ground and simply sat where he had been standing. "And yes. I threw the rock with intention. It isn't as hard as it looks, though by how you make it sound there isn't much surprise in it for you." His legs were crossed and he was watching the horse and Hazel with the same equal curiosity. As if the horse was just as interesting. "You're Nico's sister," he said, echoing and not questioning. "And he never mentioned me. Tsk. Well, mysterious girl. I am your long lost uncle and possibly a king of a far off land. Or maybe I'm a wizard who likes to adopt small boys and give them swords that came out of lakes. And maybe a couple other things I can make up on the spot. If that helps." He shrugged. Then he finally said, more seriously, "My name is Myrnin." Then he blinked once and added, "Monster by some definitions, though I don't think your brother ever really figured out what I was in your mythos. Because I'm not. I'm from something else. From a lot of different somewhere else's. I'm a being of death, as you can probably sense. Just how I can smell you are. Not to be creepy ... or anything." Honestly, just from his smile, you could tell that he wasn't trying to be creepy because he was too busy being very bad at being dramatic. Then he waved his hand around and gave up on that as well. "I'm a vampire. I've known your brother for about three years. Eh. Give or take. Time is relative and I never ran on it during a good day. But either way, I'm here because your brother isn't. In New York. At least not that I could find. But he was a couple ... hum ... okay, probably more likely to say that he was here yesterday. But he left very suddenly after running into me and if he's shadow-traveled somewhere I can't find him." His voice held concern. "And I do rather worry about him." His eyebrows wiggled a little. "It's the uncle in me. Or maybe the crabby wizard with a beard and a penchant for old books. I'm not from around here ... if that was your second question. Or possibly fourth. I'm from mid-US." He waved a dismissive hand. "And what I know of your brother is likely most of the same things you do." He didn't seemed phased by the fact she was dangerous. She wasn't as dangerous as Lady Grey. He doubted Hazel could rip kill someone with one simple hand movement. "I'm here to look for Nico," he patiently added. "My name is Myrnin, though you wont find that name on any records. Specifically, I am here because it was the only place I could think to look. I may give of the sense of death, but that's about as close as I can get I'm afraid. If he's in the Underworld or ... in Greenland or something ... then I can't get to him. Or maybe I could, but I would rather prefer not to jump on a plane again. As for how I know him ... well, we just ... met." Explaining the House would take too long. "He would vouch for me if he was here. But that might be a small problem, because he isn't. Also, rather inconveniently I don't exactly have another alibi. Other than possibly being able to tell you various details about Nico's life." He glanced Hazel up and down. "Granted that might be convincing or it might just make it look like I ate him and drained him of all his memories. That's at least the implication I'm seeing in your tensed shoulders." He tapped some of his fingers against his knees. "There's not much to say about that. Though I could just be leaving, since it's clear he's not here." He paused, then sniffed. "Or you could summon silver from the ground and bind me with that, if that would allow you to actually get a move on with trusting me. Though nothing larger than a finger's breath if you are. I would rather like to keep my hands attached to my wrists." He showed her the palms of his hands. "Really is as simple as that, you see."
Nico followed Arthur, more for lack of anything better to do than any other logical reason. He took a deep breath in, trying to remember that eventually he’d have to go back up to the surface. Eventually he’d have to talk to his father about what he was doing around here, especially without visiting him. He’d have to tell his father that he’d had his heart broken. He had no idea how Hades would react to that. Either he’d dismiss it and say that Nico would find someone else, or he would offer to ensure an afterlife in the Fields of Punishment to whoever had broken Nico’s heart. It was hard to tell with Hades. He was no Aphrodite, but he was more of an expert on love than most of the other gods. After all, he’d managed to remain mostly monogamous, unless you counted Maria di Angelo. Nico smiled grimly at the thought. Maybe he shouldn’t take his father’s relationship advice if he happened to offer it. He didn’t want to think about his father or Persephone at the moment. He was curious where Arthur was taking him, especially as he ended up somewhere that seemed vaguely familiar, but for reasons that Nico couldn’t quite place. It must have been a half-faded memory of some sort. Nico didn’t pursue it – it would only lead him down a rabbit hole he wasn’t prepared to fall down at the moment. He hadn’t really realized that anyone in Elysium could have houses. Well… he knew, he had been to the Underworld enough times to know how it worked, but most of the time people seemed to share their houses with the people they loved, and they were the kind of thing that it seemed like Elysium provided. Arthur’s home, on the other hand, felt very… real. Not like something that belonged in the Underworld. Perhaps that was only because he knew Arthur. He had known Arthur before the other man had died. He took a hesitant step in, taking in every moment of it. Elysium wasn’t half bad. If Bianca had been given a place like this… well, it had never been Bianca that Nico was worried about. His missing her, his anger over her death… that was him being selfish. Elysium was as good as you could get, and he’d wanted to take Bianca back from it. She’d saved him the trouble herself. “You’d be surprised,” he murmured, half-paying attention to what Arthur was saying. “I know a lot of people who’ve died. Wouldn’t be a stretch to think some of them could be nearby. For all I know, Charlie Beckendorf is you neighbor or something.” He was distracted. “You’re entertaining enough,” he added, somewhat surprised by the comment. “You’ve got… what’s probably a much better living space than most other people in Elysium. Well… I don’t know. I’ve never actually been invited inside anywhere in Elysium. I didn’t even know I could shadow travel here. I thought it was all gated off, but…” Arthur could finish that thought for Nico, if he wanted to. Desperation had taken him towards the only person he knew would understand the situation and wouldn’t judge him for what he’d gotten himself into. And he really had gotten himself into a doozy. Love… did that. “And I appreciate it, but I’m alright. I guess… manners never really wear off, do they?” He laughed humorlessly. He’d never had to learn manners. There had really been no reason to. Nico froze when he heard the question. “No.” His answer was immediate, but the truth was he wasn’t certain. He just didn’t know how to say that. “I’ll tell Myrnin I’m alright, eventually. Unless you could do that…” he shook his head. “Never mind, I couldn’t ask that of you. But I don’t want to see him after that. I don’t want to see Lady Grey or Sam or anyone who was there. I just want to forget it.” That was what he wanted. What was realistic was something else entirely. --- Hazel tensed. She could have guessed that the man in front of her wasn’t a half-blood or a mortal, but having it audibly confirmed made her just want to make it extra clear that if Myrnin tried anything she could and would defend Camp Half-Blood to her dying breath. It might not have been her home, but it was home to her friends and their friends, and she wasn’t going to let anyone – particularly not this strange man – hurt them. “You openly admit to being a monster and breaking our window with a throw that should have been impossible, and you still want me to let you through the barrier?” On another day Hazel would have simply told the others to be aware or maybe dispatched Myrnin quickly by herself. But Myrnin had mentioned Nico, and she desperately needed information about her brother. She was more worried about him than she was willing to let on to a total stranger. She knew he was prone to disappearing sometimes, but he was always in one of the two camps or in the Underworld, and after what had happened during the war, he wasn’t safe in the Underworld anymore, because the only way to get there was by shadow travelling. Which Nico was under express orders not to do. “Myrnin,” Hazel repeated, testing out the name. “Nico never mentioned you, no,” she confirmed, not giving the other tall tales the vampire was telling any credence. It didn’t really surprise her that Myrnin wasn’t from her mythos. She was aware that there was more to the world than the Greek and Roman pieces. There were Egyptian and Norse gods running around everywhere, with more teenagers who didn’t mean to get roped into it solving all their gods’ problems. The only difference was that it didn’t seem like most of them were half-bloods. Just really, really unfortunate teenagers with some sort of magic in their blood. Or, she supposed in the Norse case, teenagers that had somehow managed to die a heroic death. Which, of course, signed them up for an afterlifetime of doing the dirty work of the gods. Point being, she wasn’t surprised that Myrnin wasn’t anything familiar to her or Nico. There was so much about the world that she would never understand because she would never get caught in the middle of it as a Roman half-blood. “Right. Vampires exist.” According to Hazel’s tone, she was taking everything in stride. You sort of had to if you wanted to survive in the world she did. Just keep moving forward and accepting what was throne at you. It was the only way to force yourself to keep on going. “And Nico’s been consorting with vampires.” The only thought in Hazel’s mind was When would he have found the time? They were all so busy trying to rebuild after the war, and Hazel had seen the effort Nico was putting in. There was no spare time to be making friends with weird dramatic vampires who tried to get you to believe stories that were so far fetched even the most gullible child likely would have dismissed out of hand. Was that the only reason Hazel felt inclined to believe that at least most of them were true? And then Myrnin was talking more about Nico and Hazel’s hand dropped back to her side. Evidently Myrnin really did know Nico. And evidently, he’d been stupid enough to shadow-travel somewhere. “Will’s gonna kill him if I don’t do it first,” she muttered under breath, not aware that Myrnin would be able to hear her no matter how quietly she said it. “Why would he leave if you’re a friend?” It was meant as an accusation, maybe to throw Myrnin off guard and be more transparent about what he knew, but they both knew Nico. Hazel wasn’t fooling anyone. Even if the situation were entirely normal, Nico came and went when he pleased, no matter who you were. If he didn’t feel like catching up with an old friend, he wouldn’t. Not that Hazel thought he had very many old friends. She worried about him. “Look, you don’t need to go around spouting my brother’s life story. I don’t know if you’re friend or foe, but you’re looking for him, and I am too.” Hazel sighed, audibly. “I’ve got a feeling that trusting you is a very, very bad idea, but I’m out of options. I could try Iris-messaging him, but if he’s in danger that could make things much worse for him…” she was thinking aloud, only breaking off when she heard Myrnin’s suggestion. “You don’t want metals from me anywhere near you,” Hazel warned, something more like fear quickening her heart. It seemed Nico wasn’t the only Underworld sibling afraid of what he could do. “Nico can’t really do metals or precious gems, so maybe you don’t know what a bad idea your suggestion is. But… trust me on that.” She took another deep breath before stepping out from the barrier. “I want you to know that if you kill me, you’ll have an entire Roman legion after you. You’ve seen what one half-blood can do. I don’t think you want to test what a few hundred could.” That was the benefit to being Praetor. People could and would follow her and fight to avenge her if need be. It was a useful tool to use against vampires that were probably at least a little bit insane, even if they were her only chance at finding her brother.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Dec 7, 2019 4:05:57 GMT -5
It would have been foolish not to notice that Nico was distracted and thus not responding to any attempts of Arthur trying to take his mind off things. He half covered his mouth with hand, pondering, but nodding along to what Nico said about not knowing he could shadow travel into Elysium. Then he let the hand drop and said, "It is gated off. But even gates can be bypassed. Anyway, it isn't like you aren't welcome." The sentence was pretty, but didn't really mean much. Nico was the son of Hades and honestly Arthur doubted that any part of the Underworld was truly closed off to him if he intended to go there. Arthur was also sure that after the time he'd had he needed someone who at least knew some part of what he was going through. There wasn't many options when it came to the living. Plus, Nico had found him before. Not by shadow travel, however. By the sound of it, just in the way in which his voice lilted every time he said the words, there was something the matter there as well. Shadow traveling was getting more difficult. Arthur had noticed the hands, though they seemed better now. "I would tell him," Arthur said after a second, painfully aware he'd hit a nerve. Well, he'd just revisited the issue that had gotten Nico worked up in the first place. Arthur didn't blame him for the emotions. He wasn't sure, however, how there was going to be any way to deal with them. "But there are scarce few ways up to the living world." He did honestly mean that. He would have told Myrnin. Not because he really thought that would be the end of it, but because Myrnin had a stubborn way about him that meant he wouldn't give up on something. Not directly anyway. "I see," Arthur murmured. And he did. The advise he had was just from a man who'd failed to make any sort of headway in affairs of the heart. At least that case. He would have suggested Nico went where he most felt at home. But Arthur thought he was fairly confident that he knew where that was and it was out of reach of Nico's powers. And if Arthur's guess was wrong, then the only other option he could think of was one of the two camps. Questions if Nico went there were soon to follow. A safe space, for Nico to get away from his own thoughts, was hard to come by. The room they were in suddenly felt like it was far too dull and impractical to uphold that. Arthur sighed internally, but stood up. He moved deeper into the room, tossing over his shoulder as he started to work around his house, "I lived in Russia for a while." It seemed like a very large skip in the conversation. If Nico was watching him move around, he would slowly notice Arthur moving items here and there. "This house was the one I had in London for a while. It was at the back of my shop. Then I had one in Norwich. Country home, very nice. One of the only one's I had with a back door that opened onto something other than a street." A fire in the fireplace was stoked to a warmer glow to light up the room, something set on it to burn and producing some sort of background scent that wasn't invasive but juuuuust present. It was almost calming. It brought to mind the fact that Arthur knew things about herbs and cure-alls. "This place isn't exactly any of those. More of the bits I liked. Nothing really from the house I grew up in. Apart from some of the items. Books. Things my father read." Arthur didn't let any bitterness escape into his voice. He had found memories of his family home. Somewhere. But nothing he wanted to talk about and nothing that mattered now. He disappeared into another room, voice drifting back, "Therefore, if I were to hazard a guess based on the styles of homes alone, I don't think any of my neighbors are even from the twenty-first century. For starters, I know the one to my left, he's an old friend." Arthur returned, only this time he was carrying a blanket and looking a bit at a loss. "The others? Hum. Couldn't say whether you know them or not." He sounded a bit vague, then gently tossed the blanket in Nico's direction. "Though I will point out I know a bit about the modern century." Which was probably where the idea of the blanket had come from. Well meaning, but possibly lacking in tact. "There is a garden out back, a library in the building if you consider overloaded bookshelves a library, and cabnets full of what my sons would call 'useless junk'. I have nowhere to be. Or if you want to be alone then I have several places to be. But you are staying here for at least a little while longer." Something in Arthur's face twitched to what could have been a smile. "If I have any say in the matter anyway." The living were important, but Arthur was holding out on Nico realizing that for himself without a ghost telling it to him. Until then, he was going to see how far he could push his luck with trying to get Nico to take care of himself. --- "I figured honesty was the best policy," said Myrnin dryly, rolling his eyes. "I honestly don't see how I could pass as human, much less a demigod. Unless I suddenly look like a son of Hades to you. I think that would be rather too big of a lie for anyone to swallow. So yes, I want you to let me through the barrier. I think a deadly half-blood killing monster would be a bit more transparent about wanting to kill you, but hey ... I'm not one, so maybe I'm wrong." It was hard to keep the impatience out of his voice. But it wasn't like he was going to make much more progress. He probably wouldn't be allowed to throw any more rocks. "You accepted vampires rather more quickly than most people," he muttered under his breath, still looking Hazel in the eye and looking very un-intimidated. He wasn't the only one muttering, but he ignored the name drop since it meant nothing to him. Other than perhaps the off chance it had been mentioned in that room where they'd switched lives? No? Maybe? He couldn't remember. "I think," said Myrnin briskly. "That your question is rather ... stalling. Both you and I know that if Nico wants to leave, he will. The exact reason isn't my story to tell. Ask him. All I can say is he left in a rush and I'm worri - oh, you're talking and saying you're going to listen never mind." He cut himself off, despite the fact some of that ran over some of Hazels words. He seemed surprised and strangely pleased. Less evil monster pleased and more child who has received a new gift pleased. He seemed very interested in her descriptions of her own abilities. He hadn't known any of that, honestly. He also wasn't detoured by it either, and didn't take it very seriously. So that was probably a bad idea, but he wouldn't know that. "No problem by me. Silver. Don't like it on a good day." He did, however, look slightly pleased when Hazel stepped out from the barrier. Then he dipped at the waste in a bow. "And if you kill me," said Myrnin, standing straight again and smiling brightly. "You wont live to regret it. But everyone else will. You have no idea what I can do." It was delivered as a statement of fact. He was the third of Morganville and the one keeping things running. It would be rather ... unfortunate if they were tossed into some sort of war because of his death. "Seems like we have a suitable amount of promised knives at the other's throats. Perhaps getting to the job at hand would be a more practical solution than exchanging threats?" He shrugged both of his shoulders. "Just a suggestion. I honestly have no intention of killing anyone any time soon - particularly not Nico's friends. Nico's enemies? That might be slightly tempting. Can't promise I wont kill them." He used both of his hands to point at the barrier (more of aim finger guns at it, but the sentiment still stands) and raised both eyebrows. "So. Am I allowed in now? Or are you taking the lead and we're going somewhere else? Because I ran out of ideas a long time ago. I just know he shadow traveled somewhere." He shrugged, disappointed, but also looking just a bit secretly excited.
Nico listened to Arthur, the static in his head not quite going away. He was out of options, and he didn’t want to run back to Myrnin and face Lady Grey or the almost-Sam again. He didn’t want to face everything he had lost. Though Arthur certainly hadn’t meant it by taking him to his home, just being in Elysium reminded Nico of something else he had lost. Bianca had tried for another life. It didn’t quite seem fair to Nico that she got to just try again, to leave behind everything that had been. When she came back she wouldn’t be Bianca anymore, she would be whoever she was now in the world above them. People always said it was easier to leave than be left behind, and Nico supposed that was true. He also supposed that the House had left him behind rather than the other way around. He certainly hadn’t had any say in the matter, he hadn’t even been given a chance to say goodbye. Most people, Nico thought, were allowed to stay in the House until they died, and then they got to say goodbye upon their death. Why didn’t he get that courtesy? A cynical voice inside him whispered that he had survived longer than the House had ever assumed he could. He shook his head of the thought, instead paying attention to Arthur’s place. It was nice. It certainly was a strange amalgamation of a bunch of different buildings, but that was only obvious to Nico when Arthur pointed it out to him. It was odd, to think that Arthur was an adult who had gotten the chance to choose where to live. Who had enough agency to have favorite parts and least favorite parts, and to have things of his own. Not that Nico didn’t have anything of his own, but he would be trapped at one of the two camps for probably the rest of his life. Maybe if by some miracle he was allowed to grow up he’d find a nice home in New Rome, but that didn’t seem quite the same. It would have been easier, Nico thought, if he had died in the war. Not ideal, of course, but easier. He wouldn’t have lost the people in the House without saying goodbye, and he wouldn’t have to deal with almost-Sam or Myrnin or being in Elysium without even knowing if it was alright for him to be there. He wouldn’t have to go back and talk to anyone, he’d be his father’s second down in the Underworld and everything would be just fine. “I don’t want to tell him,” Nico replied, all too aware of how childish his voice sounded. “Right now I don’t want to leave here.” He didn’t finish the thought, but Arthur could probably tell. He didn’t want to leave here ever, though they both knew that was impossible. Nico couldn’t just disappear or shirk his responsibilities. Even if there weren’t others counting on him, even if his father wouldn’t be angry… well, Nico wasn’t the type who could just leave. He couldn’t think of anything else to say, but it was very clear that Arthur had put a lot of thought into what might and what might not be comfortable for Nico. Namely that the neighbors could be people he knew, and right now Nico didn’t want to face anyone he knew except Arthur, even if they were friends. He had a feeling Charles Beckendorf might have good advice in this situation, but that didn’t mean that Nico wanted to speak with him. All of that was… well, it was too close to the real world for Nico’s taste. He seemed about to open his mouth when the blanket came towards him and he reached out to catch it. He curled it around his body, appearing at the end to be more blanket than boy. “I didn’t know people in the Underworld could get cold,” he commented lightly. He couldn’t think of a single good reason for Arthur to have a blanket, but he wasn’t about to complain. It was nice, and he didn’t want to relinquish it just yet. He listened to Arthur talk, fairly convinced that a good portion of what he was saying was rambling rather than anything he really expected Nico to pay attention to. He was keeping Nico company without pressing himself too much upon him or insisting they talk about anything that Nico was opposed to talking to. Smart, really. “You don’t have a say in the matter,” Nico added softly, though it might have been a joke. “Nonetheless, I’d like to stay here. And I’d like you to have nowhere to be.” It was difficult to admit, but Nico knew he couldn’t handle being alone. Not now. Not when Arthur actually knew a little bit about what he was going through and was at least a little bit willing to help. Not when he actually had somewhere where nobody could find him and where it didn’t matter if he laid low for a little bit. He knew his disappearance had probably been noted by now, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to care. “Look,” he added, staring at the ground. “Nobody is going to come looking for me here, and when I’m ready I’ll shadow travel back to the surface. But for right now… I think I’d like to stay as long as I’m welcome. If that’s alright with you.” If not, he would just have to find somewhere else. Easy. No, that was a lie. There was no easy place to go. There never had been. --- Hazel frowned at Myrnin. Under other circumstances she might have believed he was a demigod – he had the eccentricity down cold – but he couldn’t pass through the barrier. The thing was, she didn’t particularly like the way he was talking about Nico. Like he knew things about him that nobody should have known. Things that Hazel probably didn’t even know. But she had already reached the conclusion that if there was even a chance this vampire had met Nico and knew where it was… it was a risk that Hazel would have to take. She had a responsibility to her cohort in New Rome, but for right now her allegiance was with her half brother and him alone. If this was a trap… well, Hazel had handled traps before. It wasn’t like she was going in entirely blind, and it wasn’t as though Myrnin was keeping everything a perfect secret from her. The only difficulty was that she didn’t trust him as far as she could throw him. That wasn’t very far, despite the fact that if the positions were reversed, Myrnin could probably throw Hazel quite far. “If you know my brother you know there are crazier things in our world than vampires. It’s not very hard to accept that which doesn’t even touch the crazier things I’ve seen. Ask any mortal though and they might be just a touch more surprised by your existence.” Hazel mentally rolled her eyes. She had thought one set of gods was enough before she had learned that hers was split in two different personalities, and there were other sets of gods that existed alongside them. Gods that never interacted with them somehow, and whose existence didn’t cancel each other out. It was all big and complicated and frankly, vampire was a lot more tame than what she was used to hearing. It was almost a welcome break, if the vampire hadn’t been so dead set on finding Nico. “You’re not the best at threats, are you?” Hazel replied evenly. Fortunately for the ‘everyone else’ Myrnin was referring to, she didn’t currently have any plans to kill him. “You have my word that unless you become a threat to me, any other demigods, or my brother, I won’t kill you. If you are, a threat, though… whoever you’re speaking of be damned.” Which was perhaps a little bit extreme, but it got the point across. She did not trust Myrnin yet, but she was out of options. This was the only lead she had on Nico, and she needed to make the most of it. Some of the tension eased away at Myrnin’s suggestion. She almost smiled as Myrnin mentioned killing Nico’s enemies. “Whatever Nico’s told you, he’s not got any enemies left alive that I know of. Unless he himself counts as an enemy, which…” she shook his head, “he might. There are monsters who might be a little extra out for his blood, but it’s the same for most of us. You can’t win a war against unkillable enemies without some of them vowing to come back and make you regret it. Those of us with larger roles more than most.” There was a look in her eye – something obvious but something pained. Something that made it believable, if only for a moment, that she was Nico’s sister. “I think it best you stay outside the barrier for now. We don’t want anyone else to feel as though something is wrong. I can take you somewhere else, though. Somewhere where we can try to get an Iris message through, or at least start looking in the places he usually goes. I hope you don’t mind hitching a ride on Arion. He may not like you being a vampire, but he tolerates Nico so it should be okay… I’d rather not risk trying to shadow travel now. Not even sure I can take myself somewhere, let alone two people.” She mounted Arion and held a hand out to Myrnin. “We’re headed into the Labyrinth for now. I don’t want to believe he’s gone to the Underworld, but if he has that’s the closest we can get without actually entering. And frankly… I’m not sure what Pluto would make of you, and I’m not keen on finding out.”
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 26, 2020 2:53:45 GMT -5
Honestly, Hazel impressed Myrnin, but he wasn't going to say that to her face. Not yet at any rate. It seemed more interesting to wait and see if there was going to be any other occurrences of note. "Oh yes, I know. Crazy things. Been there, done that, got the tattoo, only it didn't stick around. I just think we have a different set of big, crazy tales to tell. But we'll leave that unless you're old and grey and I'm bored." He tapped at his chin, considering Hazel's point about threats. He wasn't very good at them, this was true. He didn't really have to be. The fangs usually spoke for themselves. Hazel had a sword though and what for all intense and purposes were magical powers. Myrnin really didn't want to press his luck when it game to very serious threats. What if she actually took them a bit more seriously? He needed her. And she probably needed him a bit less than Myrnin would like. It was a fair assumption that he should try to remain off her kill list but stay on her 'be wary' list. "He has had enemies," Myrnin said, coming out of his thoughts. "It amounts to the same thing. Past or present ones turn up ... they will die. We'll call it at that. Him as an enemy though?" Myrnin's expression shifted to something just a bit sad. A crack in the bravado that he hadn't really been keeping up to begin with showed that he was honestly worried about what sort of danger Nico was to himself. Then again, Hazel might just assume he was a very clear monster who liked to act. "Hopefully he is less of an enemy to himself today than I am worried about," muttered Myrnin, mostly to himself. He waved his hand dismissively, however, as Hazel suggested he not enter the barrier. "If I don't need to, then I am merely interested in what lies beyond it. Not gonna loose any sleep if I can't get in though. Nico was the reason I came, after all. Also the horse?" He looked at the horse for a second, then bowed at the waste. "Pleasure to meet you," he said. Clearly, he was addressing the horse and not Hazel. "Excuse my presence. It will not be for any longer than necessary." He straightened then, taking the hand that Hazel offered but using it as a guide rather than any sort of boost. "Been there," he said, mounting up behind her. "Rather dusty place. But ah ... yes, I would prefer to avoid any attention from your underworld god unless absolutely necessary. I don't know what he'd make of me either." Myrnin chuckled a bit, though he did have to wonder whether his proximity to Hazel made her nervous. The teeth and all. He had a feeling the horse would kill him if he tried to bite her though. "Ready when you are," he said, yawning just a little. As if he was honestly board rather than trying to seem like he had the situation under control.
Myrnin was… a lot to deal with. Not in a bad way necessarily, but he certain did have the type of energy that she couldn’t picture Nico tolerating for very long. Perhaps he monitored how he spoke depending on the situation, but even that was doubtful because surely then he would have toned some of this down for his first meeting with someone he needed to help find Nico. Either way, there was no use dwelling on it now. If she got too suspicious of the vampire, she could ditch him fairly easily. She had a horse that didn’t like dead things, and Myrnin was very much a dead thing. Not that she would say that to his face – that would be rude. The look on Myrnin’s face when he thought of Nico being an enemy to himself.. either Myrnin was a fantastic actor, or he really was familiar with her brother. They both knew he could have gotten himself in a great deal of trouble for reasons that neither of them could really solidly comprehend, even as his friend. If Myrnin was, in fact, his friend. “Just.. think twice before you kill someone, alright?” There was an edge to Hazel’s voice when she said it. If Nico was in fact in the Underworld, if Myrnin was a little too hasty in killing monsters that had it out for Nico, he may unintentionally send them right to him, depending on how fast they were able to reform in Tartarus. The thought of her brother anywhere near that place again sent a shiver down Hazel’s spine. “Did he say anything when you last saw him?” As far as Hazel was concerned, Myrnin had seen Nico last, and that was the only starting point they had. If Myrnin didn’t have good information, then they had almost nothing, and Hazel was still not quite sure she wanted to risk an Iris message if Nico were in danger. It rather amused her that Myrnin took the time to bow to Arion – it was certainly a gesture of respect the horse appreciated, though Hazel wasn’t going to tell the vampire that. The last thing she needed was her horse and this random vampire conspiring with each other. She just had to hope that Myrnin couldn’t speak horse as well as Percy could, otherwise they really would be in trouble. “How’ve you been through the Labyrinth?” she asked, trying to keep her tone conversational. They both knew it was a pretense. While it wasn’t exactly an interrogation, there was something more than innocent curiosity in the question. If Myrnin had been in the Labyrinth, that meant Nico must have taken him there or have been running from him there. The former seemed far more likely, given that the Labyrinth was hard to find unless you were a child of the Underworld, which Myrnin was most certainly not. It was also hard to navigate after Daedalus’ death – where it had apparently been a big problem for a year, it was now almost forgotten and falling apart in places. Not exactly somewhere she would expect any self-respecting monster to dwell. Certainly not one like Myrnin. Before Myrnin could answer the question, though, Hazel dug her heels into Arion’s side and the horse burst into a gallop, tearing up th4e ground beneath them and travelling faster than most forms of transportation could. Hazel felt the wind in her hair – tangling it even more, though she didn’t mind. She then leaned as far forward as she could as Arion plunged into a cave that seemed like it had appeared out of nowhere. Suddenly, the sunlight and the cool breeze was gone – they were tearing through the Labyrinth, Hazel sending out every signal she could think of – every signal she was capable of – in the hopes Nico might answer one.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Jan 29, 2020 18:58:31 GMT -5
The way Hazel said it made her request for more information about what Nico had said seem very reasonable. The only issue was … how did Myrnin answer any of it without bringing up the House. It wasn't like he could just say that apparently Nico had stopped blinking and that it had crushed him for ages but upon discovering that his boyfriend from the House was also in his world he'd become excited … only to find out that this boyfriend was a different person. It wasn't exactly the statement he could make - not with it still making sense. For the time being, he let the horse carry the question away. And what a horse! He'd ridden them before, of course, but nothing like this! This horse moved, faster than a vampire could run! And that was saying something, considering how fast vampires could run. It wasn't fast enough to escape the problems Myrnin felt were looming. He sighed, feeling a bit hopeless. He gripped the horse's side a bit more firmly - the horse with the unpronounceable name - and leaned forward enough so he could be sure she could hear him. "Er. He didn't say much about the situation of him leaving," he said, trying to keep his tone to a point it would make it over their traveling but failing by being horribly loud. "A mutual … friend of ours upset him. It wasn't like I really expected that to happen, you understand, but he didn't say where he was going so I had no other options but you!" It was nothing to go one. "He wasn't in danger at the time he left," Myrnin tacked on. "That's about the whole of it." It wasn't even half of it. But the whole of it would be vastly more difficult to explain to Hazel. He added, since he doubted having a vampire near your ear for more than necessary was what Hazel wanted, "Your brother showed me this maze." Then he sat back again. The tunnels were a blur. He wasn't sure what Hazel was doing, but he was sure she was doing something. Asking just felt like it would be to complex. Instead Myrnin listened. There wasn't much to listen to, other than the air speeding past them, but he listened anyway. After a little, he leaned into Hazel's personal space again and asked, "What now?"
Hazel grimaced as Myrnin gave her almost no information. She wanted answers, and unfortunately it seemed that Myrnin wanted them to. The only frustrating part was that they couldn’t give them to each other. They would have to solve this mystery together, and before Nico ended up putting himself in danger. If he hadn’t already done that. Hazel swore, if they found him and he was just fine, she would slap him. Well.. first she would hug him, but then she would slap him. It was just like him to run off when he was faced with a situation he didn’t like, and Hazel understood it, she really did, but she was sick of it. He had friends who could help him deal with things, but he didn’t like turning to them. Hazel couldn’t change that about him, but she wished she could. “Of course he did,” she muttered. Nico apparently had a whole other life that he didn’t tell any of them about. One where he befriended monsters and showed them places that would allow them to enter both camps if they knew how to use it properly. She knew that she was just his half-sister, he wasn’t required to share his life with her, but it still hurt knowing that he had all of these secrets that he kept from her and the others. She had prided herself on being one of the few people Nico was comfortable talking to, but how many secrets had he kept from her, really? Too many to count. He’d been keeping secrets since the day they met. She kept reaching under the rock with her mind, trying to find any form of life. It was harder than she cared to admit, and she had a feeling that Nico would be better at it, but she had to try. It had always seemed to her that she got cursed with the worst side of Pluto’s powers. Nico got the death part, the part that could actually get things done… she could mess with rocks. Sometimes. She pushed the thought out of her mind, remembering what Nico had told her once before. They were both capable of amazing things. Things they couldn’t even imagine unt9l they had done it. “He’s not in the Labyrinth,” Hazel murmured after a moment. She and Arion skidded to a halt, without warning to Myrnin. “I’m going to have to Iris Message him. If it seems like it’s going to put him in danger, we hang up right away. Don’t try to engage him in conversation if it looks like he’s busy.” They had to find water somewhere… “C’mon,” she muttered, and Arion sped off again, towards an underground reservoir.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Feb 27, 2020 4:13:56 GMT -5
At least when you were a vampire you could compensate for sudden stops from demigods who didn't like to keep him updated. Even still, he humphed a bit in annoyance. It wasn't like he had a choice in how he was treated when he was hitching a ride, however. The information about Iris Messages was news to him. He assumed without commenting that they were like phone messages. But Hazel was taking care of the details in that respect, so he didn't have to concern himself. He, sooner rather than later, caught the scent of water. Then they were almost directly on top of it a couple seconds later, proving just how fast this horse was. Myrnin slowly slid off Arion's back, more than willing to remove the chance he'd be anywhere near Nico's sister and potentially biting her. That wouldn't go well. That went directly against all those threats. He shifted so he was facing Arion and he bowed his hand again in a more formal bow. "My hat off to you, fine Arion. You were of great assistance and irreplaceable." Was he trying to butter up the horse? Maybe just a little. Hazel did like him. But then again, he might just want to see whether or not he could get on Arion's good side. Less possibility of getting hit in the head with a stray hoof. He looked back at the reservoir. "What runs into that?" he asked. "Any sort of business or state building?" It seemed more likely that Hazel would know than just keeping the question to himself. "How do you set up?" he said. How long did it usually take to "Iris Message" someone?
Hazel turned back to look at Myrnin, uncertain what he was thinking. She didn’t like the idea of being in such close proximity with someone dangerous, but then again it wasn’t like she had explicit confirmation that he was dangerous. After all, he did seem pretty intent on not appearing dangerous. She raised an eyebrow as Myrnin spoke to Arion, but she didn’t mind it. The horse whinnied appreciatively as Hazel slid off as well. If Myrnin was putting so much effort into being kind to the horse… well, Hazel wasn’t going to try to dissuade him. “You found his soft spot,” she commented lightly, shaking her head amusedly at Arion. “He likes flattery.” If Hazel believed that Arion would ever listen to Myrnin over her because Myrnin flattered him… she wouldn’t have told Myrnin the horse was susceptible to it. “If you become a threat you’ll find flattery won’t work anymore,” she added, tone light. They were done tossing around threats, but this wasn’t so much a threat as just… a warning. A reminder that Myrnin did not have an ally here. “He won’t hurt you unless you do something to threaten either me or him.” She felt bad not adding that, not reassuring Myrnin because he seemed a little bit on edge around the horse. Arion was an impressive animal, Hazel didn’t blame Myrnin for being wary. “I… don’t know,” Hazel admitted, looking out over the water. She just knew it was water and it would serve their purpose, especially when she found a small pipe spraying water in. “Over here,” she called, turning to Myrnin and beckoning him over. “I’ll warn you, Nico might not answer. If he does, he might be in trouble, and if he’s somewhere dangerous… I’m not sure how much trouble we could get him in by bothering him with an Iris Message.” It was a risk they would have to take. Crouching by the mist building off the reservoir, she murmured something that sounded almost like a prayer as she tossed an unusually shaped gold coin through it. “If something goes wrong, I’ll have to end it quickly,” she informed Myrnin as an image began to appear in the mist.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Mar 20, 2020 4:00:47 GMT -5
"I was no saying anything which was untrue," said Myrnin. "Though I might make the excuse that my politeness got away from me." It was all a but formal, as he was aware, but he didn't care. He didn't need an ally. He just wanted to be fancy. He looked away from both the demigod and the horse, taking in their current location with a hum in the back of his throat. He waited for Hazel to say anything about directing him to a place he should stand and then he slowly turned and shuffled over, taking each step with a bit of a hop. "I really hope he answers," Myrnin said, stepping to where Hazel had indicated. He shifted from foot to foot, nervous. He hoped Nico wasn't in trouble either, but that was a hope that he didn't repeat. Hazel could form her own opinion about how he thought. He leaned forward, watching the mist with curiosity. He'd never seen anything like this before. It was fascinating to say the least. Not surprising he hadn't seen it before, however, if it had anything to do with a god or goddess who wasn't currently blinked into the House. It must just have been a trick which was only possible there. He didn't say anything, waiting for Hazel to speak to Nico. As far as he knew, he wouldn't even be able to be heard over this thing. --- "I think this rainbow is for you," noted Arthur, hurriedly moving away from where the Iris message was appearing. He looked at it with curiosity, but didn't make any further comment. He did look over at Nico though, a bit expectantly, as if asking if he was going to deal with this or if Arthur should stop standing on the sidelines and make some sort of excuse.
“Me too,” Hazel admitted, staring into the thin rainbow. If Nico didn’t answer, or worse, if their attempt put him in danger… she’d punch him. Well, first she’d hug him and not let go until he pushed her away. But then she would definitely punch him. She glanced over at Myrnin, who would be able to be seen and heard if he watned to, but who seemed to be minding his own business for the moment. At least if Nico picked up she would know for certain whether she could trust the vampire or if she needed to get as far away from him as she could as quickly as possible. And then the rainbow seemed to solidify – wherever he was, the Iris message was deliverable at the very least. It hung there for several moments before finally a face appeared in it. Nico. --- Nico looked up at Arthur’s words, eyes narrowing at the rainbow. Who...? He cursed under his breath, not wanting to deal with it. Not wanting to answer, because then he would need to explain where he was and why he was there. And then he would need to explain the fact that loss was something the son of Hades had no idea how to deal with, and somehow it was worse to have another Sam in this world than it would have been to just… never see him again. That was an extraordinarily selfish thought, but part of Nico found he didn’t care. He let the rainbow hang there for a few more moments before looking up at Arthur. He had no excuse not to handle it and they both knew it. The face that appeared in the rainbow once he approached it was certainly not the one Nico had expected. “Hazel,” Nico murmured, surprised. “Nico, where the gods have you-“ “Look, it’s a long story. I’m fine.” “You’re obviously not, you’re not in either camp and I’m not the only one looking for you.” Nico’s eyes widened and he cast a glance at Arthur before taking a very deep breath. “Let me guess. You made a new friend and he’s got impeccable fashion taste.” Trust Myrnin to get involved in this… or maybe it was him who got Hazel involved.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Apr 8, 2020 17:37:46 GMT -5
It was a relief to hear Nico's voice and Myrnin at once started grinning even before he was mentioned. At least Hazel would now have proof that Nico at least knew him. At the mention, he pointed at himself several times, as if to prove to the daughter of Pluto that he did indeed have impeccable fashion taste. He did end up leaning forward enough that the Iris message could focus on him. He waved a hand, just a little, and looked curiously into the depths of the rainbow. He was trying to judge how Nico was doing, but the most he could figure out was 'not good'. He leaned back again, so Hazel could be its main focus. He thought someone had to be with Nico at least. He kept glancing to the side. He hoped it was someone nice. "I'm here too," he admitted. "We were worried. I just ... happened to run into your worried sister too." He didn't ask where Nico was - it wasn't a question which came to mind. He was more concerned with how Nico was. He glanced at Hazel, raising an eyebrow. She didn't happen to know any tricks to social interaction which would help him at all, would she? He didn't actually know any way to help Nico. It was ... just something he couldn't change. Sam existed in this world, but it wasn't the same Sam. How could he hope to change that? "Are you in a safe place?" he tried instead. He wasn't fine, but he at least wanted to make sure there weren't any other stressful things around Nico. It seemed possible that he was in the Underworld, though Myrnin didn't know if these demigod's version of a phone call had service in the afterlife.
“Brilliant idea,” Nico replied sarcastically, hugging his knees to his chest. “She could’ve killed you, you know.” The collision of his two words suddenly felt far too sudden, far too dangerous. The House had rejected him for whatever reason, cutting him off from the people he most considered ‘home.’ He didn’t want to conflate Myrnin and Camp Half-Blood anymore. Myrnin was all that was left of a different existence. Myrnin was the only proof Nico had that it had ever happened. Well… that may have been hyperbole but it was close enough to true. “Am I ever in a safe place?” Nico shot back, suddenly annoyed that Myrnin was asking. Annoyed that Myrnin cared, which wasn’t fair, but maybe that was grief. Something he’d really only felt when it came to Bianca, because every other loss hadn’t been permanent until the House had turned its back on him. For the first time, Nico thought he might hate it. “Yes,” he murmured after a moment. “I’m safe and I’m not alone.” “Good.” Hazel cut in, arms crossed. “Because you won’t be when you come back to Camp. How hard would it have been to leave a note? Gods, Nico! The last time you disappeared like this we found you half dead in a jar. The least you could do is-” “Yes, as I recall you were quite easy to find when you realized Sammy was dead,” Nico snapped back, eyes flaring. It was mean and he knew it. It also hit him for the first time that he had his own ‘Sammy’ to grieve. He had the same name, too, only Nico’s was probably alive still, just far more unreachable. Hazel’s expression set itself, her features hard and almost unreadable. “We were worried, Nico. And just because you’re hurt doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk about it.” Nico almost disconnected the Iris message when he cast a long glance at Arthur and sighed. “I’m sorry,” he murmured, and he meant it. “I just don’t want to be found right now. You wouldn’t understand.” He glanced in the direction Myrnin had been. Myrnin understood. Myrnin understood better than anyone else could, and he was the absolute last person Nico wanted to talk to about it.
Post by mintedstar/fur on Apr 28, 2020 1:23:17 GMT -5
"I know she could have," said Myrnin. "But I was betting that throwing a rock through a window with a note tide to it was less likely to be confrontational than my usual approach." He paused at the mention of a Sammy ... then pushed the thought away. More than likely it was a different Sammy. "That's a bit unfair," said Myrnin. He did understand, as Nico knew. He didn't sound to bothered by the statement, however. He was at least aware enough to know that Nico wasn't ready. There was going to be a bit of an issue if they were going to try and convince Nico to come back to the world of the living. Or rather, Myrnin wasn't sure how to phrase anything he wanted to say so that Nico would believe that he could come back. Would he even want to? Myrnin wanted him to. He'd hardly met Nico outside of the House. It seemed unfair that the universe had made it so difficult for them to even get through that. He look at Hazel, as if silently trying to ask whether leaving Nico or not was a good idea. After all ... they knew where he was now. "You should go to them," Arthur said quietly, hopefully too distant for the Iris message to pick up on him. He would have usually tried to encourage Nico to try and take a course of action which he didn't feel comfortable with. But this was a special case. Nico needed an actual place to stay, not the Underworld. It was unreasonable for Arthur to say something mlike Nico deserved to be with the living. (For starters, Myrnin hardly counted in that category.) But the living world held things like beds and warmer words than Arthur could offer. Meanwhile, Myrnin was half whispering to Hazel, at a loss, "Well? What should we do?"
Nico ignored Myrnin’s comment, instead staring at the ground in front of him. He didn’t want to be here, and he didn’t want to be there and it hurt. Would he know when his friends from the House died? Would he feel their souls leaving their bodies? He wanted to, wanted to know when to mourn them a second time, when to send wishes to their worlds so their souls could rest in peace. But he very much doubted that would happen. He was cut off from them, isolated completely. “I don’t want to,” Nico murmured to Arthur, his vision darting away from the Iris Message. He knew Arthur was right, he couldn’t live in the Underworld forever. He wasn’t dead, as much as it felt that part of him had died since the House had turned him away. And when he did die? Who knew if he’d even go to Elysium, or see Arthur when he did die? He wasn’t supposed to be here, maybe his father would punish him for that. His hands clenched into fists and he wanted to punch something, but there wasn’t anything there to punch. “Don’t do anything stupid like come after me.” It was directed at both Hazel and Myrnin. He didn’t know how the Underworld worked for vampires, but he had a feeling that Thanatos wasn’t exactly happy with either of them; them both having escaped death in different ways. There was more he felt he should say, but he didn’t want to say it. “I won’t…” he closed his eyes, wishing they hadn’t called. Wishing he could just ignore them. “I’ll come back eventually, just… don’t ask me to come back right now. Please.” If there was one thing Nico did his best to avoid, it was being vulnerable. Yet here he was, telling them the truth instead of backing it up with barbed words and masks of anger. Hazel looked back at Myrnin, and her expression settled into something like determination. “He’s going to try to isolate himself,” she murmured, so quiet that Nico couldn’t hear her, “We can’t let him.”
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