(2018-03-21) Queen of the Crossroads
Queen of the Crossroads
Summary: Loukanos summons his mother to ask about the silent treatment and gets his cousin instead. She presents him with a choice
Date: 2018-03-21
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://coralsprings.wikidot.com/logtitle)
NPCs: Hekate
Scene Runner: Who ran this scene, NA if no-one or mutual

A large swatch of green that goes in all directions. To the east and northeast, the lawn goes from the green of grass to the yellowish-brown of sea grass and then sandy beach, the blue-green of the ocean spreading out as far as the eye can see. In the center is a tall overgrown hedgemaze, with dormant flowering bushes at the corners.

The rules that control the summoning of gods are vague and ancient things, most of the rites being lost to time. It is a difficult field to navigate even under the best of conditions, and today certainly may not be an ideal day to disturb the goddess of the harvest as she reunites with her daughter. Connections are easier made by one of their own, however.

Nearly a week has passed since the initial blizzard, and the snow is still piled into the back lawn, but Loukanos has cleared a fairly large circle of snow for the makeshift altar and himself. Directly in front of it is a ceramic bowl with sheaves of wheat laying gently atop it. He liked to think that his mom would answer him without any sort of offering, but the chances of that working are slim. As such, he set a horn of plenty near the altar and allowed its corn to fall into the bowl. He'd have killed a pig as well, but those are actually quite difficult to find on short notice and legally.

He stands from his spot of prayer and looks over at Ashton, whom he invited along to (hopefully) see his mama, "Thank you for joining me."

Even though modern, mortal fashions probably means little to nothing to the ancient goddess, Ashton wants to make a good impression. He is dressed up. Ironically and without thinking, Ashton is wearing almost the exact outfit that he did on Loukanos's and his first "date". The young, dark-haired boy looks positively petrified by his nerves. He offers a bit of a smile, though trying to maintain a somber and serious expression. He nods slightly. His voice is soft and almost meek, due to his nervousness, "Thank you for allowing me."

Loukanos finds Ashton's attempt to make a good impression through mortal clothing amusing but hasn't said anything yet because he thinks the other boy looks cute in them. "Of course. I have wanted you to meet her for some time. She has been silent for too long. It pains me that she would leave me alone for so long…" Especially since he is running low on ambrosia. Scary thoughts. Shaking his head and smiling at the other boy, he says, "I admit I had an ulterior motive for inviting you. Occasionally, these summonings go terribly wrong," He bites his lip. "If someone - or something - else is attracted by the ritual and comes in her stead, I wanted you here to, um, protect me." Again, the thought amuses him but perhaps it will strengthen Ashton's nerves.

Ashton frowns as he looks to the godling, "Has she not spoken to you, because you disobeyed her wishes and continued seeing me?" He snorts slightly, "Yeah, right… Me protect you?" Of course, he doesn't know whether or not such a ritual would tax Loukanos or not. "Of course, I would do whatever I can to protect you, if you needed it." He pauses, "Should I go ahead and pull my blade in case it's needed, or would me having a "weapon" out when you call your mother be considered a faux pas?"

"She had been ignoring me for some time before that. She may just be busy," It has happened in the past. "It is the first day of spring, after all. Kore will have returned to her." Loukanos nods and says seriously, "Yes. You are a powerful practitioner of magic. I have seen you do remarkable things and would trust you with my life." He considers how the appearance of a blade would go. "It may be necessary, but I suggest you hold off for now."

Ashton nods and keeps the pocket knife in his pocket. "Okay…" Now to which remark the 'okay' was to isn't very clear. Whichever one it was has Ashton a bit more legitimately serious. He reaches up and rubs the back of his neck. "Is there anything, in particular, I should do, or just stand back and keep quiet?"

"Just stand there and look pretty." A faint glow appears in Loukanos's eyes as he turns and faces the altar…then the sky. When he speaks, it is ancient Greek, "Demeter, lauded in storied Eleusis, mistress of those cherished mysteries and sacred rites, by your might and your compassion do we endure, do we live our lives. Mother, I call upon you." The dice are cast, and the evidence of the spell can be seen through the slight rile in the clouds. It begins to rain. Rain, not pour. Just a light spring shower, the first of many.

And then behind the altar stands a figure of divine antiquity. Clothed in dark silken robes, the woman who appears is tall and graceful…she is beautiful, none could deny her that and holds identical torches in each hand. Their eldritch and eternal flames burn hot. So hot, they melt away the snow on the outskirts of the ritual, giving the appearance of the goddess's presence chasing off the elements themselves. Her deathly pale expression twists in pain, and she does not open her eyes. "Little dove."

A smile spreads across Loukanos's face, though the thing is touched with sadness. "Hekate."

A grin spreads across his face, as Ashton blushes just slightly. Well, he can stand there and look as charming as possible; he isn't so sure about the pretty part, but he will try. Hekate is a name that Ashton knows all too well, a name that even he has uttered from time to time in reverence. Ashton isn't exactly sure how one is suppose to act in the presence of an actual god, so he does what seems to most reasonable and lowers himself to one knee, eyes turned downward.

"You should have summoned after nightfall," The torches float on their own as the golden boy comes crashing in for a hug. Hekate coolly rests a hand on Loukanos's shoulder, possessing all the regal bearing and darkness of a queen of the night. "Why have you called, seedling?"

Loukanos takes a step back, looking up at the tall, elder goddess. "It is good to see you, but I asked for an audience from Mother. Is she busy with other matters? I know Kore had re-"

"Persephone, dear," The goddess corrects sharply. "You are too young to blind yourself with your mother's fantasies. Kore is dead." The demigod nods, and Hekate finally opens her eyes to set her gaze, green and infinitely wise, on Ashton. "A budding sorcerer for a budding god. You are similar to your sister in more ways than you know. Will you introduce me?"

Louk furrows his brows at 'sister' and opens his mouth to protest, but when she requests an introduction, he obliges her, even if she likely already knows him. "Ashton Talbot. This is my cousin, Hekate."

Azure-green eyes glance up briefly, as Ashton still does not know what is appropriate to do. "Um… hello. A pleasure to meet you, Ma'am." His uncertainty is evident in his voice. No, he's not really ready to just offer his hand up to the Goddess of Night and Magic, mother to all Witches. He glances at Louk, with a slight smile, before purposefully and intentionally removing it to once again remain reserved.

"She educated me in the arts of magic and taught me how to harness divinity into making those creatures," It may strike most as strange, a goddess of darkness teaching a child of light how to cast magic, but the art is versatile and comes in many forms. The goddess studies the young sorcerer's reserved expression for a long moment. Seemingly satisfied with whatever she saw, she turns back to Loukanos. "I intercepted your call to spare you from your mother's sorrow."

"What do you mean?" Loukanos sounds puzzled. "Should she not be thrilled now that she is reunited?" Granted, he has never seen her when Persephone returns but always imagined his mom to be elated.

"No," She says with a soft sigh. "Persephone has not returned to her. Hades broke the pact of the seasons and hide her from Demeter. Before you summoned, I was scrying for her in the underworld and found…nothing. As of yet, I cannot say if she went of her own accord."

Shock can be easily registered on Louk's face. "That's…that's not…"

Ashton looks over at the pair of divine entities. Concern is in the youth's eyes. Not necessarily for the postponement of Spring, but for Louk's sake. If Demeter is upset, then she will probably continue to ignore her son for the grief of her daughter. In many ways, he can sympathize with that concept. He's gotten it for the fourteen years of his life from his grandfather. He frowns and despite his curiosity, he opts to remain silent and allow Loukanos and Hekate to talk.

"Possible," Loukanos finishes, the word leaving his lips a whisper.

In the endless white of the back lawn and eventual beach, there is a sizable circle that has been cleared of all snow and more and more of it is retreating from the center altar by the minute. Loukanos, Ashton, and a mysterious, ghastly pale woman also inhabit the circle. Twin torches float beside the woman, and she radiates immensely powerful magic.

"Do not presume to know what is and is not possible. This is not the first time the girl has eluded me or her mother. I will locate her. If not me, the Olympians will send out Hermes. And should that fail…" She lets her words trail, knowing her pupil is aware of the terrors of his mother's wrath.

"What about spring?" Louk asks meekly.

"Oh, it will continue. That is the second reason I am here. Bereft of Persephone, your mother is distraught. This could be your chance to return home." Again, she leaves her words hanging, the purposed offer is clear to Loukanos, who now looks lost in thought.

Ashton is dressed rather nicely, wearing a pair of black slacks, a black raw silk tee shirt under a dark blue pin stripe vest, with a black wool pea coat. He is kneeling a little to the side of Louk and the mysterious woman. He is watching them silently as they talk. With the remark about Louk returning home, he starts to move, but then stops.

Besa was taking Cocoa for a walk. The dog has a lot of energy , so she's darting around. The come up from the beach area and Best, who is bundled and has a warmth charm already alive, stops in his tracks. While he's never seen a god before (That he knows of), he's not stupid and can piece together what he's seeing with legend. Oh boy. He licks his lips, glancing towards the house wondering if he can sneak around.

Carmichael's taking the opportunity to at least TRY to get some flight time in before it starts blizzarding again. Which means he's kind of cold. but he's bundled up anyway. He's swooping over the lawn, but quickly wheels back and away when he sees the commotion. And he'll land, so as not to buzz a god. That's bad form. He's also trying to stay away, and he hopes he lands far enough away.

Minutes pass before Loukanos speaks. He's clearly thinking and clearly intentionally avoiding Ashton's gaze. The goddess waits patiently. "May I…" He swallows. "have time to think about it?"

"Of course. Every choice must be weighed carefully. For what it is worth, I will not fault you for picking either path on this crossroad. I understand you are running low on your ambrosia," Loukanos flushes slightly. He hasn't actually told Ashton that little detail or that not having it can kill him. But the godling nods. "I suppose that will be part of your decision, then. I cannot say what your mother will think once she knows you have spurned her."

Tendrils of raven hair are pushed aside as the goddess turns to first regard the Egyptian boy and then the winged one. "An angel and an ancient," For the first time, her stoic expression shifts to amusement, and her lips curl into a ghost of a smile. "Athena said this academy was for superhumans, not creatures of myth." Loukanos hadn't noticed the two and turns when they're mentioned, offering a weak wave.

For Ashton there is no need for contemplation. Any amount of timidity is left behind, as he rises to his feet. "There is nothing to think about. He's going back. It's where he belongs." Before this point, he had noticed neither of the two arrivals, three if you count the dog. He turns his head that way. There is no smile of greeting, only a slight nod of acknowledgment.

Besa's head tilts where he is, while he supposes he's ancient, it's always weird to hear someone else call him that. He doesn't move forward, but Cocoa does. She runs forward, tail wagging unaware that running up to a God is prolly a bad idea. Besa reaches towards Ashton but won't actually grab him, "Ashton…" But then he realizes what Cocoa is doing and calls out, stepping towards the magical summoning circle, "Cocoa! No! Come back!"

When the raven-haired goddess turns in his direction, Carmichael bows, hunkering down. His wings fold in tightly. The overtone is clear — lots of respect. And more than a little fear. He doesn't want to get zapped. Carmichael sheepishly waves a hand to Loukanos when the young man turns in his direction. He doesn't really know what's going on to be honest.

But he does realize something else… again he's been called an 'angel'. This time by… well, he isn't sure what she is. Yeah, this is gonna call for some discussion with his dad. For now, though, he offers a nod to Ashton as well, but stays quiet. This isn't his conversation.

Suddenly Cocoa breaks away towards the entity, and Carmichael takes off into the air again. He's going to try to swoop down and grab up the dog before she gets in trouble, and bring her back to Besa. He's pretty strong, hopefully it'll work.

"I can't just leave, Ashton," Loukanos protests. "If I left, I would not be able to…" Hold him, kiss him, even see him? The reasons are not said but implied. With a firmness, he says, "I will need time."

"You shall have it," Hekate assures, sparing a glance towards Ashton before looking back at Loukanos, "While you are on this mortal plane, I will need your assistance in locating your sister. I doubt Hades brought her here, but as they say, let no stone go unturned. When I require you, the flames will guide you." With that, her torches shine brighter, and Loukanos's blue eyes glaze over as he stares into their fires.

It may come as a surprise to some that Hekate does not strike down Cocoa where the creature stands. No, in fact, once the dog is close enough, the goddess actually goes down to one knee to affectionately stroke the creature's head. "What have we here," She all but coos. "You're a fine dog, aren't you?"

She allows the animal to be taken by Carmichael, her features now devoid of emotion at best and annoyed at worst. Coolly, she says, "Were she a puppy, she'd make a finer sacrifice."

Ashton looks as if he is prepared to argue with Loukanos, but somehow musters up the will to remain silent, even if his expression is anything but. His eyes watch with keen interest everything before him. His stormy gaze turns to Loukanos, as his hands move to his hips, waiting for the opportunity to talk to the godling.

Besa hurries after, throwing Carm a thankful smile for trying. His eyes widen, "Oh…thank you, Goddess Hecate." Ye,s he knows who she is, "I understand the honor you say of Cocoa." No, his heart pounds in fear, but he knows she means that's as an honor. He kneels down, both to take the dog back from Crmichael, and to honor the goddess. Thin arms wrap around Cocoa, dark eyes going from the goddess to Louk and then back again.

Carmichael looks sheepish as he sets Cocoa down near Besa again. "I'm sorry," he offers humbly to Hekate, his wings held down. "I thought… well, I didn't know if her running up and trying to jump up on you was… respectful or not…" Unsaid goes that he didn't want Besa's dog vaporized… or Besa! He also takes Besa's example and takes a knee. Though yes, that's partly to keep Cocoa from running off again.

"I shall return to my efforts in the Underworld," Hekate looks around at the boys assembled, standing with all the grace of a monarch. Sarcastically, she adds, "By your leave."

Loukanos shakes himself out of whatever trance was placed upon him and nods several times. "Yeah…good luck. Thanks for coming. I missed you." The winds howl in protest of the ancient magic as a tear in the fabric of the world appears behind the mother of magic.

"Fate would allow you to be with me and the rest of the gods. You need only reach out and accept it," Hekate smiles warmly and snatches her torches from where they were suspended. "Farewell, my seedling."

As the woman steps into the portal, heat spreads through the yard, melting away at what snow remains. Loukanos sighs and looks over at the kneeling boys, maybe still avoiding Ashton's gaze, "You guys can get up now."

Oh, even after Hekate has left, Ashton remains firmly silently. His eyebrow is arched high as he just looks at Loukanos. His hands are still placed on his hip.

Besa watches, he can feel the magic in the air. His blood practically hums with it. Cocoa fidgets, the sudden warmth making her want to run again. The ancient teen sighs and waits to stand until Hekate is completely gone. One glance to Ashton and he turns to Carmichael, "Shall we go get something to drink from the kitchen?" Because this looks like an argument stirring that they don't need to a part of.

Again Carmichael gives a sheepish look, standing when Loukanos directs them that it's all right. "I'm sorry. That… probably wasn't the best way to make a good impression, now that I think about it…" he offers in a contrite tone. If he feels any of the magic, he's not saying anything about it. One thing he does note — taking one look between Ashton and Loukanos, and Besa's suggestion becomes a good one. He nods. "Good idea. I've been flying around for a while, could use a bit of a fuel-up." It's not a complete lie, at least! He pauses long enough to look at Loukanos, and then Ashton. "If either of you need any help and I can do anything, let me know, won't you?" But yeah, there's a conversation that needs to happen, and it's not one that he needs to have his big British nose in! So he'll indicate the path back to the house. "Please. After you." Because he's polite!

"You did fine. As well as can be expected, anyway. Groveling probably wasn't necessary," Loukanos says to Carmichael, thinking the best of his cousin. Probably is the key word there. "She is not like the other gods." He has never felt a need for deep reverence when dealing with her, but she also had a hand in raising him. They're tight. "What is it, Ashton?" He finally turns to the demon. "I cannot just leave. I promised I would not abandon you, remember?" He glances at Besa. "And that I'd protect you." It'd be difficult to do these things in another dimension.

Ashton counts to ten in his head before he opens his mouth. "You won't be _just_ leaving… Just leaving is saying that you're going to the store to get a pack of cigarettes and never coming home. Going home to become what you were born to be is not Just leaving. It's your home… They are your family… There is no way that you're going to become what you are meant to be if you don't go, so there is no question to consider. No other option. You have to go with her."

Besa offers both boys a soft, worried smile but he calls to the dog, "Come Cocoa. You deserve a cookie." Near death experiences require treats afterwards. But then he turns back to clarify to Louk, "Do not use myself as a reason. I am more able to protect myself than everyone gives me credit for." The teen seems more focused, he's faking being ok, but the focus is for real. Besa understands duty though, having to go through with the sacrifice, so he stays quiet. He's sure Louk will bend his ear later on it. Maybe Ashton too, who knows. "Yes, Carmichael. Thank you." And he'll start heading towards the patio.

Carmichael tilts his head. "Well… I suppose she's had to deal with mortals doing stupider things in front of her before," he reasons. He'll go quiet though, since Loukanos and Ashton's situation… it's not really his business. Besides, he does have something to think about. So he offers a reassuring smile to Loukanos and Ashton; he's not sure what else to say, really. So he nods to Besa, following him to the house.

"I did not mean to suggest you were not," Loukanos says quickly to Besa. "I only meant to stress that things aren't the same as when I first came here." He has people he cares about now. To Ashton, "It's possible that Persephone will be found, and I'll be thrown back to Earth again." He doesn't know that he can go through that again.

Ashton gives a nod to Besa and Carmichael. It is just about all that he can manage to break his attention from Loukanos. His gaze turns back to the golden godling. "And if you are thrown back to Earth, then I will be here to catch you." He frowns, "Besides, Louk. I'm going to grow old and die in the blink of an eye for you. You have eternity to live. I don't. I'd rather die knowing that you were what you were meant to be than live with the knowledge that you may come to resent me for costing you your family and your birthright." He is trying extremely hard to say what he thinks Loukanos needs to hear.

Compared to his Olympian counterparts, Loukanos is still a baby. He has lived for fifteen years, only slightly longer than Ashton, and while he knows he was promised immortality, he does not fully understand such a grand concept. Not yet. "How do you know it is my birthright? I don't. You'd be surprised at how little I know about the things that matter," Beat. "What I do know is right now, I am exactly where I want to be."

Ashton looks at Louk. It is obvious that he is trying to keep a "stiff upper lip" and not let the storm of emotions show. "Because if it wasn't yours, then the frickin' goddess of frickin' magic wouldn't have just tried to get you to come /home/." That wall is crumbling with each passing second, then Louk's last sentiment, and it starts crashing down. "But it's not necessarily where you should be."

Approaching slowly, Loukanos wraps his arms around Ashton in a gentle embrace. He can feel the other boy crumbling and whispers softly, "Please. Let me stay here with you," Now that there are close, the smell of jasmine can be perceived on his body. That's new.

His resistance was barely there before that, but as Loukanos wraps his arms around him, Ashton all but goes limp. His arms likewise wrap about the other boy, holding on to him as well. He presses his nose into Louk's neck as he sighs. "I.. I would have you nowhere else if that is what you truly wanted… I just want you to be happy." He looks up at Louk, "I just know that you miss not being at Olympus… and wouldn't want you to lose that chance just because of me… but if that is what you want, then I promise that I'll try to make this as close to home as I can."

(feel free to tag the log with character names of those involved!)

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