IV

"Holy Zeus so you were telling the truth after all!"

I ignore Eros's amazed cry, body practically on autopilot as I stumble past him to the toilet, the nausea forcing the contents of my stomach up and out my mouth.

"Hey are you okay, Toilet Girl?"

I eye the porcelain bowl I'm heaving my lunch into."What do you think?"

Once I don't feel like puking any longer, I wipe my chin and turn to face his worried (worried? Oh so now he gets a conscience) frown with a glower. "See what you made me do?"

He holds up his hands in surrender, looking awkward and out of place among the plain tiles of the bathroom wall in his button-down and designer jeans. "Sorry."

I snort at that, but decide to let him off just this once (because maybe - just maybe - I would have done the same thing if I were in his place, and I may have accidentally jumped into the Pit with far too much speed in my haste).

"Okay let's go." I rub my hands on my stone-washed jeans and stride out of the bathroom, making my way to my abandoned duffel.

"Alright." Eros hurries after me, looking visibly relieved that I'm not ripping into him. Before what I said sinks in, that is. "Wait what?"

I grin, mimicking his obnoxious smile earlier on. "Since I keep popping up from the dead and you get burned whenever you try to steal the Key, you have no choice but to let me come along, don't you?"

I nearly laugh when his eyes widen rather comically in panic.

"Uhh…" He flounders, rather evidently fishing around for an excuse. "It's a dangerous journey - it's not suitable for females, you know. You really shouldn't come along, just in case you, you know, get hurt."

I scoff at that. "Says who? Besides, I like adventures."

"B-but y-you could get captured and tortured to death!"

A dismissive wave of a hand answers his attempt. His stubbornness to leave me out of everything (something he forfeited in the instant he popped up from my insecticide can) is commendable, really. "I can choose to go into Ghost Skin mode at any time. And any wound I have heals when I pay a visit to that granduncle of yours, anyway. Besides," I smirk. "I can't die, remember?"

"Oh yeah." Eros slumps visibly, a picture of dejection. "Right. Wait- Ghost Skin mode?"

"Courtesy of mum," I explain, shrugging. "Anything aimed at me will basically just pass through my body - but that means I fall through floors because I can't float, so I generally avoid that. And since there hasn't been an actual term coined for it yet… well. Ghost Skin mode it is."

"…oh."

"Yeah. So I can come along, right?" I throw in a hopeful look to go along with it - the one that I inherited from Mum, and the very expression that Dad can never resist.

Eros doesn't seem to be remotely affected by it, though (then again, he's been living with an entire legion of unnaturally beautiful people for millenniums - he's probably more than used to it by now), shaking his head frantically. "No!"

What? After all that? "Why not?!"

"Uhh…" He stalls, stumped. "Um, I- I like you and can't bear to see you hurt!"

I can't help but roll my eyes. Honestly, who is he kidding? "You just killed me twice, Diaper Boy. If that constitutes as 'like' in your book, Psyche must have been a sad, sad girl."

"Psyche was a myth," he growls in reply, scowling at the name I called him.

Huh "really?" Because I could've sworn that ancient scriptures have Psyche's name scrawled all over them.

The scowl on his face deepens at that. "Some idiot decided it'd be horribly romantic-" here he pulls a face, an irony I do not fail to notice, "-to conjour up some ridiculous tale of me 'falling in love' with some vain sprout of a girl," he grumbles. "I don't even like brunettes."

I eye my straight brown hair. Is he insinuating something?

But wait "so Psyche didn't even exist?"

Eros shoots me a patronizing look "Were you even listening to anything I was saying? Of course she didn't - everything down to a pinky nail was just a figment of a writer's imagination."

Well. It seems that all those ancient myths are just tall tales, then. "Does this mean that Aphrodite doesn't actually get jealous?"

He lets out a snort. "If only. No - that part is true. Entirely true. Last I checked Medusa is having fun seducing dead humans sans her snake hair in the Underworld.

"Oh."

"Yeah, well. You still can't come along."

Dash it all. That little- "Why not?!"

"Because!"

"Because?"

"Because… because you could get hurt and die!"

I give him a tired glance. "Didn't we just go through this? I. Can't. Actually. Die."

"B-but won't your parents be worried?" he tries again, shooting me a desperate look.

I shrug at that. "Nah." I grin evilly, knowing that the cat is already in the bag. "They've been waiting for me to get out of the house and mingle for ages - I'm sure they'll be more than happy to know that I'm doing something exciting for once." Mum will, at least. Dad is more likely to call up an army of the dead to track me down and drag me home. Which is why I'm not telling them anything.

I can't help but feel sort of sorry for Eros when his face droops dramatically - but not enough to take pity on him and stay at home and brood.

"Fine," he sighs finally, looking as though he had just admitted to committing murder (which he technically did. Twice.) "You can come along."

"Really?!" I don't need a mirror to know that my face lightens up at that and I nearly move in to give him a hug, only I take one look at the disgruntled expression on his face and figure I shouldn't, lest he has an apoplexy. "Brilliant! Can we go now can we go now can we go now?"

Eros doesn't reply, pointedly ignoring me as he raises his eyes heavenward and mouths a 'why me?' in exasperation.

Not that that's going to deter me anyway, so I disregard the touch-me-and-die vibes he's giving out and bound forward, tugging on his (surprised) arm. "Erooooos can we gooooo?"

His pained expression says it all.

I frown at him. "You don't even know where we're supposed to go, do you?"

He sniffs in outrage at that. "Of course I d-"

"Son of Aphrodite!" A booming voice cuts him off mid-sentence, a flash of lightning revealing an irritated-looking Hades as the loud clap of thunder that accompanies it causes me to leap ten feet in the air and huddle behind Eros with a yelp. "Just what do you think you were doing, sending that- that thing over to my realm? Twice?"

"I am not a thing!" I snap as Eros offers no reply (and by the way he gapes wordlessly up at the god towering over him, you would think that he was some little kid meeting his favorite idol.)

Said god waves a hand dismissively at my outraged cry. "Same thing, necromancer spawn."

"Necromancer spawn?" Eros starts cackling at that.

I shoot him a death glare, annoyed. Of course he decides to find his vocal chords at the most ridiculous times. "Shut it, Diaper Boy."

He shuts up.

And now it's Hades's turn to laugh (unnaturally quick mood swings apparently run in the family), his deep voice reverberating around the room as he manages to choke out a single "Diaper Boy?" before collapsing into another fit of laughter.

Something which is only made worse when Eros hisses out a 'Thanks a lot, Toilet Girl'.

And we spend the next five minutes glowering at each other while the king of the Underworld laughs his arse off.

"I have something for the two of you," Hades gasps out as he wipes tears from his eyes later on, finally starting to sober. "To help you defeat Ay."

My eyes narrow involuntarily. "Unless you're passing us the Osiris stone, I'm not sure that I want to know what it is, considering the affinity you have for chasing me out of your kingdom." Not to mention the mood swings and the amount of power he has. (Eros perks up, though - what a trusting little bugger)

"Sorry - no Osiris stone here."

Eros mutters something that sounds suspiciously like 'damn' under his breath at that, slumping.

"But I do have something - or someone, actually - else that will be quite helpful in navigating, considering the fact that you children are probably horrid at directions." He continues, ignoring Eros's affronted hey!' at being called a child.

"Old man, I probably have a better sense of -mmph!" Eros glares at me as I hurriedly slap a hand over his mouth before he can screw things up even further. I glower back at him. "Do you want to get struck by lightning?" I whisper furiously, shooting a look at Hades over my shoulder and noting in relief that he looks more confused than anything.

Eros quietness down, thankfully. I remove my hand with a final warning look and turn to smile sweetly at a bewildered looking Hades. "Someone, you were saying?"

"Ah, yes." Hades's face clears now that we're back on familiar ground. He waves a hand at an empty space. "Meet your new guardian, Caoimhe."

Eros and I exchange glances, and he nudges me subtly. "Tell him," he mouths, and with a dirty look I comply. "Uhh Hades," I start tentatively, wringing my hands awkwardly. "There's no one there."

"Down here, idiot." A low-pitched female-sounding like voice snarls in reply.

My gaze drops, and I take in the three-foot-tall, green-clothed bearded female (there was no way she could be anything other than that- not with boobs like those) with surprise. "…oh."

"Yeah oh," she parrots in a mocking voice, scowling (up) at the three of us. "What did you expect - some beautiful elfin lady like my namesake?"

"What? No!" I assure her, blinking, at the same time Eros replies with a shrug and a "pretty much. Although I must say, that bosom of y-" I hurriedly elbow him, smirking satisfactorily when the rest of his sentence escapes as a soft whoosh.

The damage is already done though - the tension thickens noticeably as the scowl on Caoimhe's face deepens at Eros's (bloody insensitive, dammit!) remark.

Eager to change the topic before relations worsen even further (and Caoimhe decides not to help us after all - not that she seems all that eager now anyway), I turn to an amused-looking Hades. "I never knew leprechauns are under your reign." Or that female ones exist.

"That's because they aren't."

"Oh." Shizzle. "Then why is-"

"I owe His Majesty a favor," afore-mentioned leprechaun interrupts, looking as though she'd rather jump into a burning pyre than be here with the three of us.

"That she is!" Hades exclaims rather jollily (something I note with not a little amount of amusement - after all, he is the king of the Underworld for a reason), seemingly oblivious to the tenseness of the atmosphere (or probably, knowing him, just choosing not to care). "Helped her get rid of the vampire chasing after her for good by dragging him down to hell, I did. Well I've gotta run - I have a bunch of terrorists coming in. They're the worst lot - always complaining and demanding to go to 'Heaven' when I throw them into the suburbs of Inferno." He lets out a scoff. "Don't they know that there is no such thing as Heaven? Especially after killing so many innocent people, too. Delusional chits." And with a soft poof! he's gone, leaving Eros and I to stare down at a bad-tempered leprechaun.

A bad-tempered leprechaun, who spends the next minute looking at us cantankerously.

"Aren't you going back?" I ask hesitantly after waiting in vain for her to poof out of sight like Hades did.

She rolls her eyes at that. "Fae can't go back on their promises - I told Hades that I'd lead you to the Osiris stone, so lead I will."

Eros blinks at her - a gesture I find myself mirroring. "You know where the Osiris stone is?"

Caiomhe throws her arms up in exasperation. "Yes. And if you two don't hurry up, the cats are going to reach there first."

That jolts us into action. At least, I do - Eros just stands there with a blasé look on his face as I run about snatching up duffels, writing notes and slipping into black hi-tops. You'd think that he is just on for the ride instead of the one dictating every single aspect of our journey with an expression like that. Annoying chit. Not for the first time, I'm tempted to march up to him and give him a sharp slap on the cheek, but Caiomhe interrupts me with a 'Oscailte!' before I can do anything.

And when a swirling blue portal opens up at the foot of my bed, I pretty much forget about my intention to do so. Judging by the look on Eros's face, he's pretty much as mesmerized by it as I - which makes me confused, frankly. After all, he's been in existence for far longer than I - shouldn't he have been used to things like that by now?

"Alright." A sharp clap jolts me back to reality (and out of the corner of my eye, I notice that Eros blinks and returns back as well), eyes focusing on the suddenly-businesslike attitude of the little leprechaun. "Time to get some chewing gum."

Eros and I exchange glances.

"Chewing gum?"

She lets out an impatient sigh. "YES. Chewing gum. Now move!"

And while the both of us are stunned into silence, she drags our prone forms to the portal and bodily shoves us in.


A/N 1 JUNE 2016

So after four years away where many things happened (actually no, the only big thing was that I completed my A-levels and am in med school now - and starting my third year of that in two weeks, which goes to show how quickly time flies), I stumbled across no less than five (five! What!) incomplete stories buried deep in my laptop. I never even knew I wrote that many things?! Bonus: I kept all the plot points and twists in my head, so now I don't even know how these stories are supposed to go. But eh. Long story short, in between bouts of horror (good god, the dialogue) and 'omgiactuallywrotethese', I realized I never got around to posting this little story properly. It's entirely unedited and all sorts of awful, but it's one of the few I actually finished. So I thought I'd just suck it up, bear with the constructive criticism, and share this for the fun of it :)

Tl;dr, I'm back! For a little bit. Stay lovely.

Fena x

Caoimhe [kiːvʲə]: Irish name meaning 'beautiful/gentle/precious

Oscailte [ˈɔsˠkɪlʲtʲɪ]: Irish for 'open'.