Theorotica (C)James Janos,2002
Theorotica: Chapter 03: Ares
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Theorotica Chapter 02
Theorotica: Chapter 03: Ares
Theorotica: Chapter 04
Theorotica: Chapter 05
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Theorotica Chapter 07: Godsummit
Theorotica: Conclusion
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Theorotica copyright James Janos 2002.

Chapter 03:Ares

     Later that night, things were anything but calm at Mount Olympus.  The Gods and Goddesses regrouped at Ares castle discussing the latest incident.
Confidence in our God of War was at a new low as some were developing a suspicious feeling about the new Purgatory God.  The gathering was far from social.
     "So, it appears that your kitten has claws,"  Venus commented, referring to the new power that Apathicon displayed.
     "As I expected him to," Ares retorted, still confident of his work and his tactics.
     "You never expected any of this," Clothos said with defiance, she now saw an opportunity to get even with him, "Your kitten has claws but whose claws are in your kitten?"
     "Ares?" Laughed Poseidon, "Have you been defeated by your neice?"
     "I am NOT DEFEATED!" Stressed Ares.
     "Oh come on, stop being so blind," Venus added, "You saw what he's capable of."
     "All of that was just an experiment," Ares said, "I wanted to see if he had any power."
     "And that's exactly what held you back," Lachesis commented.
     "Yeah, you were afraid," Added Atropos.
     "Is this true," Venus smiled sarcastically, talking down to him like one would an infant, "Does your little kitten scare you?"
     "You witches don't know of my plan," Ares said, trying to contain his anger and keep his dignity.
     "Then do tell," Neptune suggested, putting in his two cents.
     "Now that we know what we're up against," Ares started,."We can plan an effective strategy."
     "In other words, even you don't know," Venus concluded.
     Ares stared at her with a silent, cursing glare.
     A quiet fell over the chamber as the three fates broke off into their own little group.  The Gods were heavily concerned now that Ares plan is not going exactly as they wanted it to.
    "I don't know about you," Clothos started, "But I felt it."
    "Felt what?" Lachesis inquired.
    "Come on, his apathy spell, didn't it affect..?"
    "Ssssshhhhh..." Atropos said, quieting them down in time as Ares walked past to get more wine.
     "We don't want to lead on that Apathicon could win this," Lachesis whispered.
     "Maybe we should reconsider...." Atropos started but was interrupted by Ares hand grabbing her throat.
     "Reconsider what, my dear?" He said, choking the fate with both hands.
     "We were thinking that maybe your not God enough to do this," Clothos said defiantly.
     "Really? And what of you Atropos? Do you agree?" He asked, tightening his grip.
     "Stop it, Ares!" Lachesis commanded, "You know you need us."
     "Who else could take care of all those Mortals?" Clothos Asked.
     "Who, indeed?" A powerful yet familiar voice echoed through the room.
Ares released the fate as all watched Hades enter.
     Hades, the dark one, leader of the pagan underworld.  A powerful, flamboyant and yet calculating God.  He has a strong personality and a powerful mind to match.
     "Hey, who dareth have a party and not inviteth me?" Hades announced, helping himself to the wine.
      "A party?" Venus said sarcastically, "Really, Hades, you do need to get out more."
     "Cheerful as ever, Aphrodite," Hades said, greeting her with a kiss, "Aahh, the fates, three lovely sisters, a veritable jewel on Mount Olympus."
     "What is it you want, Hades?" Ares asked in an angered tone.
     "Well, if you're going to be that way about it," Hades answered, "Maybe I shouldn't tell you.  Word on the mound is you really screwed everything up."
     "The words are lies."
     "Are they?" Hades continued, "You create a netherworldly freak that by a completely unforseen circumstance, ie, Theorotica, is now not only out of your control but being paraded in front of everybody like her new obedient puppy.  Have I missed anything?"
     "His crappy plan to pit a team of Mortals against one," Added Clothos.
     "A poorly staged fight that he lost horribly?" Lachesis commented.
     "His amazing ability to underestimate the Secular Committee," Atropos said, adding her comment.
    "And," Stated Hades, "The fact that even as we speak, Satan, yes even my secular counterpart is planning a hostile takeover of our Pagan Underworld.  Ares, Things were damn near perfect for me before your cosmic meddling."
     "Meddling?!" Defended Ares, "It's about time somebody did something around here.  After all, Hades, It's easy for you to just sit and enjoy your little kingdom."
     "Maybe so, Ares, but you still should've held a council meeting first.  You should've let all of us give our advice, you little warmonkey.  Speaking of which, whatever happened to your harbinger?"
     "The harbinger was plan beta," Ares explained, "Nobody knows of it."
     "Oh, I don't know about that," Hades started, "I think the entire secular commitee is fully aware.  Why do you think they assigned Theorotica to stick to him, like a siamese twin?  They sent her there to you away from him."
     "Oh my God," Venus commented sarcastically.
     "Ares, you are a buffoon," Poseidon added on that note.
     "Silence!" Yelled Ares, maintaining his control, "This is only the beginning.  Apathicon will be ours, he WILL become one of us.  Venus, my dear, just to soften things up how would you like to...??"
     "Seduce Apathicon??" Venus interrupted in a sour tone, "I don't know, he's not really my type.  Even if I could, we'd have to get him away from 'you know who.'"
     At this point, Eros entered the party.
     "Leave that to me," Ares said as Eros walked in and poured himself some wine.
     "Eros, my boy, come here," Ares said with some degree of politeness.
     "My boy?" Eros questioned, in a defencive tone, "Last time you called me that I was grounded for a century.  Oh, hello Hades, long time no see."  He leaned over to Atropos and commented, "Things can't get worse."
    "You know, Eros," Ares started, "Just when I'm starting to like you, you annoy me.  I'll be glad to ruin your life when I kill your dear cousin."
     "Theorotica?! Why? Is she defeating you too badly?  You know your brother always had the superior tactics." Eros commented.
     "Never! Mention what's his name!" Ares commanded.
     "Whatever?" Eros continued, "Look, I can't let you hurt her, I may not be able to stop you but I cannot let you hurt her."
     "Just tell her to stay on her toes." Ares stated.
     The gathering ended on a sour note.  One by one the Gods and Goddesses disbanded until only Ares And Hades were left. 
     "You know," Started Hades, "You should kill Theorotica."
     "She's the thorn in our individual sides," Hades continued, "And I know it would not be past you to kill a family member. Just leave the details to me, I'll contact you when everything is set.  Until then do NOT I repeat DO NOT do ANYTHING to screw things up anymore."
    With that thought, Hades disappeared and Ares was alone in his castle. 
     Meanwhile, on Earthland, Apathicon and Theorotica were together and just entering Nikki's apartment.  They spent outside, walking around and talking as Seth and Nikki spent the night inside.  The sun was rising peacefully in the clear morning sky.  The cool air held the promise of a new day for all as birds outside sang the praise of daybreak.  Nikki's alarm went off with a different song, 'Summer in the city' by the lovin spoonful.  Apathicon began to bop to the oldy as Theorotica just stared, not entirely understanding his actions.
     They watched as Nikki got out of bed and greeted the morning.  She walked over to her coffee table and found a note.  Tears welled up in her eyes as she read, Theorotica was concerned and walked over to find out what was happening.  She read the note and realized, Seth was gone.
     "He left her," Theorotica said, as the pair watched Nikki walk into the bathroom.
     "Left? What do you mean left? He's just gone to get milk, right? He's coming back." Apathicon stammered.
     "No," Said Theorotica.
     "What?? Whatever happened to passion, to love, to devotion???  To the idea that this stupid excursion would be over, she's supposed to be happy, your supposed to be in Heaven doing more assignments, maybe visit when you get the time and I'm supposed to be in my lawnchair having beer." He stated.
     "Well, I'm sorry you've been denied your selfish existence," Theorotica commented, not impressed by his motivations, "But appearantly, sometimes things don't work out  as planned."
     "Appearantly." He agreed.
     Just then, Eros entered the apartment. 
     "Well, you're about two hours too late." Apathicon said to Eros in a sarcastic greeting.
     "Well, Good morning to you, Mr. sunshine," Eros defended, "Since when did we have an appointment."
     "Well, what's the point in having a 'God of love' when Cupid's nowhere to be found when he's needed??" Apathicon questioned.
     "Hey," Defended Eros, staring him in the eye, "Never! Call me Cupid! Do I look like something out of a Hallmark card??"
     "Why doesn't he like the name, 'Cupid'?" Apathicon asked, turning to Theorotica.
     "It's that Motown song." She explained.
     "Yeah!" Eros shouted in Apathicon's face, "That Motown song, forty years of 'Cute Bitch, pull back your bow'" He sang, sarcastically.
     "They got the words wrong, that's funny," Apathicon laughed, "Scary.."
     "Scary?" Eros questions, "Remember, we're talking about Greeks, you don't know scary!"
     "Alright, enough both of you," Theorotica commanded, the two Gods backed off each other.
     "Theorotica, I gotta tell you this, the Pagans are really annoyed at your actions here.  In fact, well, they're currently planning your demise." Warned Eros.
     "Oh, wonderful," She sarcastically commented.
    "Well, there is a war on between the pagans and such.  I guess Hades got little perturbed when..." Eros started until.
    "Wait, Hades?" Theorotica interrupted, "What does he want?"
     "If you let me finish,  evidently, somebody mentioned to Satan about this 'Purgatory God'.  By the way, we've never been introduced, I'm Eros."
     "Apathicon," He said, shaking his hand.
     "Nice to meet you, you know I pictured you a bit taller and paler skin.  Purgatory is not known for it's A-List resorts.  Anyway, Satan has joined the war and is planning an attack on Hades kingdom.  Boy, if you thought daddy was unpopular before." Eros mentioned.
     "Yeah, well, Ares is not entirely to blame for this," Apathicon said, conaining the bile.
    "Ha, ha, shut-up," Theorotica laughed.
    "What? You? Oh, Theorotica," Eros stated.
    "I had to teach him a lesson," She defended.
    "By taking him to meet the Devil?" Eros inquired.
    "I wouldn't exactly say 'take'," Apathicon started, "More like violently forced."
     "She hit me, hard," Apathicon explained, "Went flying straight into hell."
     "Wonderful! like we didn't have enough problems," Eros said all flustered, "Bottomline, Theorotica, watch your back I don't know what you're upto but you're making alot of enemies."
     "Suggestion noted," She returned.
     Eros disappeared, leaving the pair behind. 
    "This sucks," Apathicon commented as he grabbed a beer from Nikki's fridge.
     "Oh, it's not all bad," Theorotica commented, looking on the bright side, "We'll fight 'em one on one."
     "No, this sucks, I want to go back,"
     "To what?" She questioned, "Purgatory? boring.  Stick around, It'll be fun."
     "I don't wanna have fun." He whined as he sat down and opened the beer.
     "Where did you get that?" Theorotica asked.
     "Made it, you want one?"
     "Yeah, duh..."
     Apathicon waved his hand and conjured up a beer.  He picked it up and handed it to her.
     "It's warm," She commented.
     Without a comment, he handed her the cold one in his hand and took the other.  The two sat quietly for awhile and enjoyed their beers.  A short time later Nikki walked out of her bedroom wearing jeans and a T-shirt, she was ready for work and heading out.  The pair followed her, down the hallway and outside to her car.  Nikki started the engine and drove off.
     From the backseat, Theorotica and Apathicon watched the street pass them by.  A beautiful afternoon was taking place before their eyes as they continued on to Nikki's workplace. 
     'Dogs n stuff' was the name of the pet shop where she worked.  A large warehouse type store with aisles of pets and accessories for them.  Giant displays of petfood, leashes, cages, books on animal care, everything a pet owner could possibly want and more.  Theorotica was entranced by the puppies being displayed to customers who got to hold and pet them.  They followed Nikki to the 'employees only' room and continued their work.
     Nikki's work day was typical, clean a few fish tanks, sell a kitten, tell people repeatedly 'Yes the birds do bite.'  Pretty standard.  Like all good employees, Nikki was more than happy to see the end of her shift.  Theorotica, on the other hand, loved animals dearly and didn't want to leave.  Apathicon just hung around and made the best of it.
     Evening fell and Nikki returned home to get ready for the night, saturday night.  All set to go, she called a cab and proceeded to the curb.  The taxi was clean and pleasant, Nikki rode in the front seat, in the backseat was Theorotica and Apathicon.  They arrived at a night club, Nikki paid the fare and entered.
     "This chick party's alot," Apathicon commented, "I just hope there's no band."
     Inside, the club was packed, people everywhere unwinding and partying, their work-week had ended.  Nikki continued walking in and eventually caught up to the people she was meeting.  She sat down at the table and greeted her girlfriends.
     "Alright, chicks," Apathicon commented with a smile.
     Theorotica just stared at him without a word.
     The two stood nearby, close to the bar where they could see her.  Apathicon waved his hand and created two more beer.
     "When in rome," He smiled, opening his beer.
     "So, Cupid, I mean, Eros is your cousin?" He started.
     "Yep," Theorotica responded, then took a drink.
     "So, what about the rest of your family?"
     "Well, my mom's Caliope, she's a muse," Theorotica explained, "And dad's Apollo."
     "Wait, Apollo? As in the Apollo?" Apathicon questioned.
     "Yeah," She said, drinking again.
     "Wow, so your like, royalty or something?"
     "Not really," She explained, "Where I come from I'm pretty plain."
     "I don't know, I met your aunt and I think you're way prettier."
     Theorotica smiled and took another drink.
     The pair watched as Nikki socialized and met people.  Conversations came and went without a hitch.
     "Wow, she's actually normal tonight," Apathicon commented, "Must be the booze."
     "She is drinking alot," Theorotica added, with some concern.
     "Probably the only thing that keeps her calm," He said, taking a drink himself.
     Soon, Nikki was on the dance floor with a guy, they were moving gracefully to the pounding rythms.  People moved around them as the lights flashed and pulsed.  A good hour had passed before they took a break and sat down.  He bought her more drinks and then they were moving again.  The night went on and ended with  the D.J. announcing last call.  Nikki's date  took her by the hand and led her to the door.
     "Wow," Said Nikki, in her stupor, "What did you say your name was again?"
     "Dirk," He responded.
     "Well, Dirk," She slurred, "Could I get a ride home?" She asked, bluntly but politely hugged him.
     "Yeah," He smiled.
     "I guess this designated driver thing really works." Apathicon commented, "He didn't have a drink all night."
     "Yep," Agreed Theorotica, "So far, So good."
     Nikki and Dirk were just leaving when a girlfriend of Nikki's grabbed her.
     "Hey!" The friend yelled, "This is...Oh, it doesn't matter but like, he needs a ride.  Could you give him one?"
     "No," Dirk said.
    "Sure, the more the merrier," Nikki slurred out, then hugged Dirk again.
    "Great!" The friend squealed with excitement.
     "I don't like this," Apathicon commented.
     "Me either," Theorotica agreed then walked over to Nikki, "What are you doing?  You spend all night dancing, that was good, don't give this guy a ride and ruin every...Hey! don't walk away from me!"
     "She can't hear you," Apathicon pointed out.
     "I know," Theorotica with frustration, "Come on."
     Outside they got into Dirk's car, a beautiful Mustang.
     "Nice wheels," Apathicon commented, "1969 Mach 1 Mustang, grabber blue, black GT stripes, 427 cobra jet engine, wow."
     With a roar, Dirk started the engine and drove out of the parking lot. 
     "So, where are we taking you?" Dirk asked the unwanted guest.
     "Jussst a few blocksh up," The stranger slurred, then pulled back the front passnger seat that Nikki was in so she was in his lap.
     "Whoah!" Nikki squealed as she went back.
     "Hey," The drunk slurred, "I wanna make love to you right here."
     "Well, you probabaly could," She giggled, staring up at him.
     Tires squealed as the car came to a stop and Dirk took it out of gear,
     "OUT!"  He yelled at the his two passengers, "You wanna get laid, you can do it in the alley!  Both you, get the hell outta my car!"
     "Well," Nikki commented as if she was the insulted one.  She and the drunk guy got out of the car and stood at the roadside.  Dirk closed the passenger door and drove away.
     "Well, that went off without a hitch," Theorotica smiled sarcastically, holding her anger.  They were now stranded on a curb, in a neighborhood that none of them recognized.
     "Yeah," Sighed Apathicon, "Exact same thing happened to me.  Only I took it in stride."
     "You never had guts to throw 'em out?" Theorotica asked.
     "I took it in stride," He defended.
     The night was cooler now, the streetlights shed a pale glow over them as they watched Nikki and the drunk huddle together and giggle.
     "I don't think they understand," Theorotica commented, shaking her head.
     A noise came from the distance, it was a car, wheels squealing, engine roaring.
     "He's coming back," Theorotica said, pointing in the direction of the sound.
     Headlights lit up the oncoming vehicle.
    "No," Apathicon corrected, "That's a different car."
     "Appears to be swerving," Theorotica noted.
     "Yeah, drunk drivers will do that," Apathicon said nonchalantly.
     "He's not stopping," Theorotica said with urgency then turned to face Nikki, "Okay, you two have to go where it's safe."
     "There, the stairway," Apathicon suggested, pointing to the concrete steps of the building.
     "Yes," She agreed, "Go! now!"
     The inspiration kicked in at the last second, Nikki and her 'date' dived for the stairway just in time as the drunk driver swerved to their curbside and rolled his car a few feet away.
     "Cool," Apathicon commented as he watched the car go right through him and turned in time to see it roll.
     "Actually, dead cold," Atropos, the fate, said as she and her sisters appeared.
     "Hello, Theorotica," Clothos greeted as the  trio walked on over to the wreck.
     "Here on business, are you?" Theorotica questioned.
     "The Gods were bored," Lachesis explained, "This poor bastard's time was up so hey, why not a little amusement?  Make it interesting."
     "Sisters," Atropos stated, holding her hand out for the swatch and lot.
     "Wow," Apathicon said with amazement, "I read about this but I never thought."
     "It was real?" Theorotica added, "Yep,"
      The pair watched as Atropos held the lot and swatch over the drunk driver and cut the two.  Half of each fell gently on to his head and bright light surged out of the lifeless body.  His soul released into the universe and vanished.
     "Well, that's that," Atropos said, walking away from the wreckage.
     "A job well done," Lachesis agreed, complimenting her sister.
     They walked closer to Theorotica as Nikki and company stumbled down the stairway.
     "Well, I see you're doing your job, Theorotica," Clothos said in a biting tone.
     "Yeah, we saw the whole thing, this little one screws up the simplest things," Lachesis added, "Your time will come," She said, looking at Nikki.
     "Stay away from her." Theorotica commanded, stepping in between the two.
     "Oh, I will," Lachesis said calmly, taking a step back, "But I can't speak for the Mortals."
     Theorotica and Apathicon turned around and saw four men walking their way.
     "Did you see that?" A voice said in the distance.
     "Yeah," Said another, "Wonder if that mother has a car stereo?"
     "Well if he did, he don't no more," Laughed a third voice.
     Lachesis smiled as the situation just got worse.  Theorotica's eyes rolled back.
     "You look tired, Theorotica," Ares said as he appeared and joined the party.
     "I should've known you'd be behind all this," Theorotica said.
     "Oh please, I only do real war, big war.  Street punks only fist fight but I do love a good fight," Ares stated.
     Apathicon stood fast and waved his hand to the streetgang.
     "Your pathetic spell won't work this time, Apathicon," Ares smiled, "These are warriors, not the weak children we dealt with last night."
     "Okay, what do we do now?" Apathicon asked Theorotica.
     "I don't know,"
     "You don't know?" He asked, "How could you not know?"
     "Well, it's been a long day and I'm tired!" She said irately.
     "You're tired!" Apathicon yelled, "I'm being dragged all over town to 'watch' this dingbat ruin her life when all I wanna do is relax in purgatory..."
     "Don't you complain to me," Theorotica defended, "You could've prevented all this if you just..." Before finishing her sentence she grabbed Lachesis and punched her in the nose.
     And the fight was on, Theorotica had lachesis in headlock and was laying in punches, "Aren't you going to do anything?!" She yelled to her partner.
     "I don't know, I've never fought before," Apathicon yelled back, as Ares came in closer to assist the fate.
     "Just follow my lead," Theorotica commanded.
     "You mean like this?" He asked, grabbing Ares by the back of his head and commenced the facial pummeling.
     "That's the stuff," She said, smiling as she threw Lachesis into her sister Clothos.  Theorotica then turned and started something with Atropos.
     With a final punch, Apathicon released Ares and tossed him away pro wrestling style.  Clothos shook loose her sister and went after Theorotica.
     "You people are really starting to annoy me," Apathicon said, grabbing Clothos and turning her towards him.
     "That's your weakness, Apathicon," Clothos said, delivering a solid jab to his midsection, "We're not people."
     "Very well then," He gasped, catching his spiritual breath, then delivered a right hook to her face, "I've never hit a girl before."  He continued with a kick to her midsection, "But as you said, you are not people."
     Meanwhile, Theorotica was sending out some roundhouse kicks to Atropos, hitting a variety of spots.  The battle royal continued awhile but soon the fates and Ares realized they were beaten and disappeared.
     Just in time too, for just then the street-punks arrived and noticed Nikki's drunken friend.
     "Good, they're gone," Yelled Theorotica, "We can protect her."
     "Way ahead of you," Apathicon stated, waving his hand to inspire apathy.  It didn't work too well, they proceeded to Nikki and company, still huddled on the concrete step.
     "Well, well, what do we have here?" A street punk started, looking at the pair.
     "Some drunken dumb ass trying mess up our turf," Added a second one.
     "There gonna rape her," Theorotica said with concern, "She's a drunken easy target."
     Apathicon tried weaving his magic but the jaded street gang had a different agenda, to satisfy their anger.
     "YO! DUMBASS!" One of the punks yelled in the guys ear.
     The drunken man woke up to see the gang before him.
     "Aaahhh!" He screamed, as a burst of adrenaline shot through his system and he began running from them.
     "He's got my car stereo!" A punk yelled as three of the gang members chased after him.  The fourth stayed behind and looked over Nikki.
     "Bitch, this just ain't your day," He threatenened, then looked up when he heard an ambulance siren cut through the night's peace.
     "Damn," He said, "I'll be back for you later,"  He took off as the ambulance came on the scene.  The medics took action and retrieved the drunk driver from the wreckage.  Nikki stumbled over to see what was happening.
     One of the medics examined and questioned her, she was the only witness they had and her scrapes from the concrete steps needed attention.  She was loaded into the ambulance with the driver and they went off.
     "She's safe now," Theorotica said, watching the ambulance go, "That was too close."
     "You think Ares harbinger could've...?" Inquired Apathicon.
     "Could've," She agreed, still catching her breath.
     Silence fell over the city street.  Theorotica and Apathicon stood alone under the starlit sky.  A moment of quiet fell between them as they calmed down from the excitement.  They started walking, side by side, in silence as pavement cracks went under their feet and the buildings slowly went by.
     "It's so pretty here," Theorotica sighed, starting a conversation, "Look at that," She pointed upward and in front of her, "The stars, so bright, so poetic, so infinite."
     Apathicon cracked a sour smile, "Right," He said.
     "You don't like them," She commented.
     "No, they're okay,"
     "Look!" She said with excitement, "A falling star!"
     "Yeah," He agreed, "There's an old Mortal legend that says if you see one, make a wish and it comes true."
     "Really?" She said, then closed her eyes and made a wish, "There."
     "What did you wish for?" He asked.
     "Like I'm gonna tell you," She said.
     The pair continued to walk through the empty streets, for awhile they completely forgot they could fly.  They just walked and observed the wonder of Earthland.
     In time they made it back to Nikki's apartment.  It was dark, quiet, Theorotica took a quick look around and realized she wasn't there yet.  Assuming she was still at the hospital, the pair sat down on the couch and relaxed.  Then there was a rattling at the door, it was Nikki and with her was Tom.
     Tom, a clean cut, handsome, intelligent man.  He was a hospital intern just getting off shift and giving Nikki a ride home.  Hours before he tended her scrapes and the wounds  of the drunken man who crashed his car.  He and Nikki hugged and kissed at the door and made a date for later that night.  Theorotica smiled as she watched the two Mortals, her smile was bitter sweet.
     "Well, this could be it," She commented as she watched.
     "Really?" Apathicon questioned, "You mean, he takes care of her from now on and we can go?"
     "Possibly," Theorotica responded.
     "Possibly?  What do you mean possibly?" He repeated.
     "Well, we should watch a little longer...just in case." She cautioned.
     "Theo, we kicked ass last night." Apathicon reminded, "They ain't gonna mess wit us."
     Theorotica just silently looked at him as Nikki walked inside and saundered off to bed.  She was tired and hungover with a pounding headache but felt good that things were looking better.
     "We better stay, just in case," Theorotica decided.  
     "Fine," Apathicon agreed and kicked back, laying down on the couch and making the best of the stuation.  By now his feet were crosswise over Theorotica's lap and she was not overly impressed.  She was also not offended, the acceptance and this new friendship she felt developing was a brand new sensation for her.  She has colleagues and family and those she can like and trust but this...this was something totally different. 
     Apathicon fell asleep quickly, she just watched and smiled as he reverted to his 'Mortal ways'.  'Angels and spirits never do this' she thought, fascinated by the whole concept.  She what dreams were but never had the chance to really have any of her own.  'What it must be like?' she pondered.  Until this very minute she really did not realize this one little thing that was missing in her existence. 
     "Oh, great," She said to herself, "He's starting to rub off on me."
     The day continued on without incident and when evening came, Nikki awoke.  She went about her routine preparation for her date.  A knock at the door and Nikki greeted Tom with a warm embrace and they headed out.
     Theorotica and Apathicon followed along.  The first stop was the finest steak house in town.
     "Wow," Said Apathicon, "Check out that T-Bone."
     "Nothing quite like dead cow." Theorotica commented.
     "Don't knock it until you've tried it." He defended.
     They watched as the two Mortals had a pleasant dinner.  For once Nikki was actually relaxed and having a good conversation.  Theorotica was pleased to see that somebody broke through her nervous exterior and was closer to the real person inside.  The meal was finished and the Mortals moved on.
     Another bar, an english pub actually, complete with a piano player getting the 'sing-a-long' going.  The happy crowd belted out lyrics to old irish drinking songs as Tom and Nikki entered.  They sat down in a quiet corner and continued their date.  Tom went to the bar to order some drinks and while he was away one of Nikki's girlfriends saw her.
     "Nikki?" The girl said, "Hi, what are you doing here?"
     "Terry?" Nikki responded, "I'm with someone."
     Terry was a tall blonde, slim and attractive on all counts.  Nikki was not impressed with her being there as competition was not welcome now. 
     "Well, uh, nice seeing you," Nikki said, hoping she would get the friendly hint to leave. 
     Instead, Terry sat down at the table and got comfy.  Nikki hardly had time to do anything about it as Tom returned with the drinks and sat down.
     "How lovely," Auntie Venus commented as she entered, "Just the two I was looking for."
     Apathicon and Theorotica turned around and glared at her.  Their defenses were going up.
     "Not you," Venus confirmed, then pointed to the Mortals, "Them."
     Theorotica turned and feared the worst then turned again to face Venus, "No."
     "'Fraid so," Venus confirmed with a wave of her hand.
     Theorotica could only watch helplessly as Venus' spell into action.  Almost instantaneously Tom was falling for Terry as Nikki slowly faded from the conversation.
     "You bitch," Theorotica commented, "Do you have any idea what we went through to get this far?"
     "Please, Theorotica," Venus said smiling, "You know as well as I that we have different plans for her."  With a giggle, she vanished.
     By now Nikki was all but forgotten as Tom focused his attention Terry.  Bitterness was growing inside her, like a form of cancer.  'Why?' She thought repeatedly.  'Of all the dumb, stupid luck.'
     She got up to leave.
     "Where are you going?" Tom asked, intercepting her with a gentle hand gesture.
     "I'm outta here," She stated firmly and pushed his hand aside.
     "She always was a bit too sensitive." Terry commented.
     "I see that," He agreed.
     Nikki continued outside the pub and walked quietly down the city street.  Theorotica and Apathicon stayed close by, watching her.
     "Back to the drawing board," Sighed Theorotica.  They followed her all the way, to the bus stop and onward back to her apartment.  There she quietly watched T.V. and fell asleep doing so.
      "Well, she's safe at least," Apathicon commented.
      "Yeah," Theorotica agreed with a sigh.
      "I'm about ready to..."
      "Quit?" Theorotica interrupted, "That's what you were going to say, right?"
     "Theo, c'mon."
     "No!" She exclaimed, "It's too easy to quit, too many times do people quit.  This is humanity were dealing with."
     "I know, I know," He said, "But we're so outnumbered.  Every single time we think it's going well and she has somebody else to look after her, they come around and screw it up.  There comes a time where you simply have to call it a day."
     "No," She disagreed wholeheartedly, "I still have a job to do."
     "What is with you?  Is this overly ambitious thing a pagan trait or something?"  He argued.
     "You have know idea what it's like there." She started, "Growing up on Mount Olympus, Surrounded by Gods and Goddessess.  They are all so perfect, so powerful.  Everything they do is so good, so nice."
     "I thought you were one of them?" He asked.
     "Half of one of them," She answered, "My mother was a Muse, I'm half secular too.  Never fit in on Mount Olympus, could do things the Godessess do.  Never fit in in Heaven, wasn't an angel by birth."  She almost in tears as childhood memories flooded back, "You're nothing Theorotica!  They all said, 'You're nothing but a halfbreed.'  That's what they called me."
     For the first time Apathicon had seen her cry, he felt heartbroken and sorry for her.
     "Well, I'm more than that." She said with affirmation, "I'm not quitting this and I'm not letting you give on me."
     "You're right," He agreed quietly.  Then simply put his arms around her and held her.
     The night continued on without incident.  Outside were the standard sounds of night in the city.  The odd tire squeal accented with the sound of cars driving by, and one lone siren that wailed briefly in the distance.