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Fantasy ☾ eclipse of the heart.| (syntra + starboob = synboob.)

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. LGTBQ
  4. Romance

starboob

lover / leaver
There's not much going in the sunbeam's head at the moment. Some might ask how this is any different than her usual state, but those fools are (1) wrong (she thinks all the time!) and (2) this time it happens to be because there is a skeletal deer-antelope-thing chomping into her freaking stomach and trying to make a meal out of her! (As if this is even fair––like, yeah, Sol did eat her flesh but at least the antelope didn't have to feel her masticating her meat! Unless... she did feel it somehow? Oh, dang.) Though even while her thoughts are filled with various expletives (and concerns), even as she concentrates on bruising her own lip to distract herself, she does still make out what Selene says. (Somehow she rarely ever misses what the moonbeam says. Perks of having her heart? Eh, who cares.) She forces her eyes open to look over at her counterpart, feeling some type of way over Selene noticing all this stuff about her. It's not necessarily surprising, because Sol has already acknowledged that Selene is observant when she wants to be, but it's touching nonetheless, especially since she's defending Sol. Defending her and apologizing for her past behavior? That's... That's pretty unlike the Selene that Sol has come to know. Even if she apologized back in the demon realm, she never thought she'd get another from the moon princess. When she considers this (a great feat considering the brainspace that pain is taking up), she realizes that Selene is kinda... growing? Now that she's thinking about it, interacting with Selene has been much more enjoyable recently––ever since their moment in the bird's nest, she's been different. She's been treating Sol different. How interesting. Sol doesn't know what to do with this information, because there's still the upset revenant to deal with, but she keeps the metaphoric tab open in her brain so that she can circle back to this later. (If she doesn't die of a pain overdose, that is.)

Once the antelope is forced to let go of Sol, the chasm below them closes, they’re released from their bonds, and the strings retract into the ceiling. Sol crumples into a heap on the ground as a new wave of shock explodes through her body, forcing her to press her eyes shut and grit her teeth together. As much as she wants to remain still so as to not agitate her wound, she remembers Selene and tells herself that the injuries can wait. She’s a goddess and she can suck it the frick up. With shaky arms she pushes herself up from the floor, immediately falling into Selene soon after, and when the goddess wraps her arm around her to support her, she grips onto the fabric of her clothes (and fights the urge to nuzzle into her neck). 'I'm so glad she's here.' She lets herself lean on Selene for a few seconds, enjoying the firmness of her arm around her waist before she gives the other goddess a nod and steadies herself so that she can face the antelope. 'Selene needs you.' She places a hand over her wound and uses the silver and gold flames to cauterize the bite, inhaling sharply as she does so. It's a strange mixture of fire and ice, and somehow something entirely different––something she doesn't have a name for, but the power surging through her as a result is addicting. It makes her feel invincible. 'You are Sol Invictus. Deus Sol Invictus.'

"I got this, Selene. I've got you," she emphasizes, "We're young goddesses, remember? Gotta stick together." With a decisive nod, she turns to face the antelope, flames dancing around her ankles and licking her arms. She notes the incorporeal arms reaching towards them and sucks in a breath so that she can breathes it out as a gold and silver stream of light, coating the room in flames and pushing the spirits back. The fire spares no one and nothing in its path, eagerly consuming the antelope’s newly grown fur and charring her meat and bones. The thing howls and seethes, "I am ending this here and now, goddesses!"

The antelope scrapes the ground with her hoof and huffs, "Spirits of the catacombs, grant me your strength to end the tyranny of the Sun and moon!" That at least gets the arms to stop trying to reach for the goddesses, but as they gather around the antelope’s flaming skeleton instead and fuse with it, a grotesque monster emerges––a cluster of faces and limbs all melted together in an unholy concoction of unhinged desperation.

"Uh, hey, Selene,” she paws at the moon’s shoulder, “do you think you can update that ritual to accomodate for, like, twenty-seven souls that need release? Asking for a friend. The friend is me and I am hoping the answer is yes."

Well, regardless of whether or not Selene can do this, the monstrosity charges at Sol and she raises her arms in an 'X' to defend herself. A ball of light glitches and forms in front of Sol, sparking as spirals of energy are pulled towards the light. At the last possible second, when she can smell the beast’s breath, she uncrosses her arms in an explosive downward sweep. The concentration of raw energy unfurls towards the beast and smacks it to the ground, wrapping around its body and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing. The thing struggles against the hold, but Sol doesn’t give it an inch of room to move. The bonds start to sear into the beast as she holds it down and it fills the catacombs with a symphony of squeals and whimpers.

"You're just like her," the antelope and other spirits cough out, "Just as angry. Just as hateful. Does this feel good, princess? Give us more!"

Shut up! You don’t know me,” but she doesn't help her case when she wills the bonds to turn into vines with thorns, digging into their gross flesh. Ignoring what she’s doing she looks over at Selene, “You ready?”
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
She... got her? Okay. Okay. The old Selene would have snorted and pointed out that she didn't need anyone to get her-- that she could get herself just fine, thank you very much. And better than most other people, too! Mostly because she was the great Selene, which gave her an intrinsic understanding of how a Selene should be handled. All of that remained to be true, of course, but... well, it was nice, sort of, to not have to do that. To have someone like Sol by her side, even with all of her silliness. Maybe even because of it? (After all, you couldn't claim that you liked caramel despite it being sweet. The sweetness was the whole point, and perhaps, perhaps the moon princess was beginning to realize that she liked Sol for being Sol, as opposed to just being willing to deal with her personality. Wow, what a concept! Great revelations were happening in Selene-land today, that was for sure.) "Right," she nodded, sparing a glance at Sol. Ugh, pretty! Now that the cursed stitches were gone, Selene was fairly sure that she'd never ever grow tired of looking at the sun heiress. How come that someone as wicked as Helia had such patrician aesthetic preferences? Not that Selene wanted to complain, but it was like... like finding out that the nightingale who sang the sweetest songs had somehow hatched from a worm's egg.

With a small percentage of her brainpower, the sun heiress did, indeed, realize what was happening. The fiery inferno, the unholy amalgamation of melted faces, Sol's fright-- all of it she registered, but put aside. (Sol would handle it. Once, the moon princess had thought her counterpart to be a spoiled child, too pathetic to take care of herself. In her mind, the countless maids at her back and call probably even chewed her food for her so that her precious jaw didn't tire itself out. Had to stay fit for spewing nonsense, you see? But, after everything that they'd been through, Selene could see now that that was a lie. A poison that she'd fed to herself. Sol had stood by her side, throughout the moonicorn fiasco and the ice panther manor and everything, and... and they made a good team, when they weren't trying to kill each other. Or, more honestly, when she wasn't trying to stab the sunbeam in the back. What if - and that was a wild thought - what if Selene had been the problem all along? Hm. Probably not the best time to be thinking about this, but she could put the thought into the ever-growing 'research later' folder. For now, though... for now, the moon princess reached into herself. Strange energies were swirling in her core, both silver and golden. Once, that might have unnerved her, but now? It felt right, akin to stirring your morning coffee and watching the cream melt into the brown substance. ...except, what was coffee, again? Ugh, Selene wished her inner world consisted of things other than random references she didn't understand and murder. Had it been only murder, the moon princess truly would have been blessed!)

From those energies, not longer battling but dancing the same dance, Selene wove a net. Her hands moved on her own, automatically, as if they had been formed for this very purpose-- perhaps they had been, in the same way that birds were born to fly. Just a little bit more! Just a little bit more, and the antelope could... uh, enjoy inner peace? Not as cool of a battlecry as 'taste her own blood' would have been, but, in many ways, Selene was beginning to realize that she didn't have to be this angry caricature. Don't get her wrong, bloodshed was still the most valid thing ever, but like, maybe the moon princess could be more purposeful about it? As in, perhaps not everyone deserved to die a gruesome death. "Are you asking me whether I'm an overachiever?" the moon princess raised her eyebrow. "I'm sure you know the answer to that question already, Sol." The net she was holding? It was shining with an opalescent light that could be felt more than seen, and the beast that had once been the celestial antelope flinched.

"No! Not that, you coward. You cannot just erase me from your lives as if the joy your mothers took away from all those people was never real. There's no way you--" But, you see, Selene was done hearing what she could and couldn't do, whether it came from Luna or anyone else. Without waiting for more nastiness, she threw the net, and...!

The second it touched the monstrosity, the world's heartbeat stopped. Everything did. Frozen in time, the ex-antelope looked almost pathetic-- a scared young thing, gone before its time. A cracked vessel, with its true essence leaking out. Pitiful! (...and sad, as Selene would have admitted had it not been for her precious, precious reputation. Since she very much didn't do that, though? Everything remained intact, because inner thought processes didn't count. Take that, character development!)

Foul energy was pouring down the cursed creature now, but the net was there to catch it all. The antelope thrashed, and screamed, and filled their ears with insults, though that only inspired Selene to hold on tighter. "Help me, Sol. I need to--"

Except that then, then the whole thing exploded, covering them with glass-like sparks. The antelope's bones fell on the ground, white and cleansed, with only the memory of wickedness clinging to them. Wow. That... had been something. More than she'd anticipated, even if their past adventures certainly indicated that they should always anticipate the worst. Releasing a sigh she didn't realize she'd been holding, Selene hugged Sol around her waist. "Thank the moon! The thing was becoming unbearably hot. Do you..." she cast a sideways glance at the princess, "...do you want to pay her last respects before we go? We'll still have to deliver the remains to the Devourer, but maybe a little ceremony wouldn't hurt. In case you're still feeling guilty about it, that is. I don't think you should, but... yes." Selene, looking out for someone else's emotional needs? Well, that was a first! "Alternatively, we can take turns kicking it. Sometimes, violence is the answer."
 

starboob

lover / leaver
There’s something about Selene making a joke about herself being an overachiever (and therefore a certified tryhard) that warms the sunbeam’s hearts. It’s that she does it so casually, like they’ve been friends since the dawn of time, and that she doesn’t use the moment to ruthlessly tease Sol and attempt to tear her down as she used to do so often in the past. While she does absolutely appreciate this new side of Selene that she’s had the privilege of getting to know, it is taking some getting used to if only because previously she only knew Selene as Selene the great butthole. There had been few redeeming qualities about her, admittedly, and for some reason that never deterred Sol. She stuck with her, maybe sensing that beneath all those layers of being a huge bully, there is a soft, dorky nerd underneath it all. She’d like to say that’s what she suspected, but truly she does not know why she’s given the moon princess so many undeserved chances. Either way, she supposes that she is glad to have seen this through––it proves that love really does conquer all! (Even if Sol is hesitant to categorize any of this as romantic love, it is some type of love that she feels for Selene.) She supposes she must have stuck around because she truly believed she could kill Selene’s butthole personality with kindness and guess what!? She was ba-da-da-da-da McFreaking right!

While Sol would love to relish in the fact that Selene made a joke about herself, there are more pressing things at present. So she focuses her energies on keeping the monstrosity contained for Selene’s ritual––and she doesn’t even have to break a sweat to do it. (With all this raw energy flowing through her veins, she wonders if this is what it will be like all the time when they unify the courts. She also wonders why Luna and Helia have fought so hard against each other when this power could be theirs. Then she figures that’s the root of the problem, it would be theirs as in shared and she knows, at least, that Helia is not good when it comes to sharing.)

When the opalescent net is cast over the beast, Sol starts to undo her own bindings, figuring that Selene now has this under control. Still, she stands beside her and continues to allow the channels of energy to flow between them like water. She’s about to step in to do a little more, at Selene’s request, but then the beast bursts and coats them in sparks and before she can even holler out a victory cry, arms are wrapped around her waist. Selene’s arms specifically and Sol’s face blooms into a rose garden. Without a doubt, Selene can feel the double hearts beating in her chest and she isn’t even bothered (she rarely ever is). She just loops her own arms around the moon princess and squeezes her. Then what she says next nearly has Sol melting. In fact, she does almost lose her balance, causing her to lean more desperately into Selene. “Oh… Really? You’d be willing to go through that effort for me?” Because butthead!Selene certainly wouldn’t have considered Sol’s feelings. (Also, she’s surprised because she didn’t think of it herself!) “Y-yeah, I’d really love that. The antelope’s spirit was mean,” and took a literal bite out of her, “but she didn’t deserve to be slaughtered and desecrated like that. Maybe, when our moms are gone and it’s just you and me, we can find a way to restore her, too? Really, restore everything our moms ruined. This land used to be a grassland before it was a desert, you know, and I’d like to see it bloom again.” She tucks a loose strand of hair behind Selene’s ear and then kisses her cheek, very casually, as if she doesn’t even need to think about the gesture (she doesn’t). “You really do live up to being the great Selene, you know.”

Reluctantly, she lets go of the moon daughter and stacks the bones in a neat little pile. She waves her hand over the pile and a blanket of flowers––purple, yellow, pink, and blue––is draped over them. “Do you wanna say––not kick––something first?,” because she just now catches Selene’s second suggestion, “I need some time to think.”

Unfortunately, there will be no time for thinking.

Not when an all too familiar orange flame lights up everything in catacombs and none other than Helia appears––looking as smug and disappointed as ever. (Only she could pull off both these looks at the same time.) Her bottom pair of eyes latch onto Selene and her top pair onto Sol. “My, my, my, what do we have here?” Her arms cross over her chest and she raises an inquisitive brow. Sol doesn’t bother answering, because she’s learned that these are just rhetorical questions. Plus, she’s at a loss of what to say. “I did not think I would get to welcome you back into my queendom so soon, Selene. I have to say, you look much better without those barbaric stitches. Does this mean you are officially defecting over to the right side?”

Her eyes then cut over to Sol and disappointment pretty much spills from them. “And, Sol, I really thought we were starting to see eye to eye. As it would turn out, you are just a conniving brat like the rest of them. I have suspected your involvement in this war to be something of a ruse to reunite with the moon brat. It is unfortunate that you find yourself drawn to her. I should have suspected this. What even are you two doing here in the catacombs? Trying to steal something from me? Answer quickly and don’t try to lie to me, Sol.”

“No,” Sol replies through gritted teeth, fear and anger both swirling inside of her and she isn’t yet sure which one is going to win. “It’s impossible to steal from someone who has stolen everything that she claims, including her title as queen, Helia.”

Sol doesn’t immediately regret her small rebellion, but she will in about three seconds. Right now, she feels a swell of pride for finally telling Helia off––even if the temperature in the catacombs is rising to an alarming degree. The queen snaps and a swirl of fiery energy swarms around her hand, “Would you like to rethink that statement, Sol? I don’t think you quite remember who it is that you are speaking to.”

“I very much do, your fraudness.” ‘Bring it, you old bag,’ she thinks, her eyes matching Helia’s in intensity as she takes a stance to fight and face her mother. (Does she think she can handle this? No, not even a little bit. Not even with the flow of energy coming from Selene. Her mother is still too strong, but Sol has fucking had it and with the swell of emotions in the air, she can’t help herself.)

“Very well, daughter,” Helia sighs, in this disappointed and not surprised way. She cocks her arm backwards to throw the spell towards her daughter, except that her eyes then flick over to Selene for the briefest second and she smirks. “I hope you enjoy hurting the ones you love, as much as you enjoy hurting me,” and with that, she throws the flaming curse towards Selene.
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
“…I suppose that might not be a bad goal,” Selene acquiesced. It wasn’t a goal that she would have picked, but perhaps the moon princess was beginning to acknowledge that her choices had been a little monothematic-- after all, murder remained murder no matter how many fancy synonyms you came up with. Who would have thought! (…and, besides, it did make sense. If destruction was the prayer their mothers whispered to bless their swords, it stood to reason that they ought to respond with something else. With creation. It had been easy to play the same role Luna had groomed her for, but… well. Wasn’t this the entire point? Branching out, and trying something different? No, the moon princess wasn’t going to start charities any time soon, but she could, at the very least, try being someone else. Not Diana, not the Selene that Luna had molded, but perhaps the woman Sol saw when she looked at her with those stupidly pretty eyes. Just… she had to be better than actual Selene was, right? Otherwise the gaze wouldn’t have been so full of warmth, not intense and searing, but gentle. The kind lizards sought out when they lay across rocks, trying to absorb some of the sun’s life-giving strength.) “Helia won’t like that, that’s for certain. Anything that causes her to throw a tantrum is good enough in my book. I absolutely refuse to get my hands dirty, but maybe I could be your cheerleader? I… I mean, everyone ought to have their biggest fan. I think I do have the qualifications necessary to be yours, although, of course, you can file a formal complaint against that. I won’t take it personally, as long as you present compelling evidence.” What!!! No, Selene didn’t have to consult Cosmo to know that she’d, as the cool kids said, ‘fucked up.’ Bureaucracy and romance did not go well together, unless… unless it did? Because Sol proceeded to kiss her (!!!) and confirm that she was, in fact, pretty great. Selene herself had known that factoid for quite some time now-- her own greatness had been apparent to the moon princess since the moment she could string words together in sentences, and the nickname was but a desperate attempt to force others to acknowledge it. The thing was, they rarely did. And hearing it from Sol’s lips of all people was, ah…

“I-I think you are great yourself,” Selene retorted, her cheeks the color of a tomato. “Say, Sol, would you like to--”

The question she was going to ask, though? It froze solid in her throat and, through the massive ice cube, Selene only managed to let out an alarmed gasp. Helia. Of course it was Helia, because only the sun queen had the gift to ruin a moment in such a spectacular way. (The moon princess wanted to run. The memories of being fed love flooded back, with crystal clear clarity, and… and she wasn’t afraid, okay?! Wasn’t, wasn’t, wasn’t! Avoiding dangers before you were prepared to take them on was called strategy, you uncultured swine. No shame in acknowledging that. Retreat was a valid military choice, and one that had earned her many, many victories out on the battlefield! …except that it seemed that Sol was a little too drunk on the righteousness juice. Nothing wrong with that, as the anger did give her that limited edition hotness the sunbeam didn’t usually have, but!!! Couldn’t she have picked a better time for exploring those things? You know, maybe when they weren’t being threatened? Selene did realize that it was difficult to find an opening in their busy schedules for that given the recent chaos, though still.)

“Sol,” she pulled on her sleeve, “I really don’t think that this is the right time. I think we should get out of here before--”

Before, say, Helia summoned an ancient curse. Just an example, of course!

Except that it wasn’t.

(Fire bloomed behind her closed eyelids, painting her world orange. It was a vicious, sharp kind of orange, reminiscent of an oozing wound, and Selene wanted to crawl away from it-- to hide, to run, to forget, but, damn! It was inside her, the same way her organs were. The same way her blood was, coursing through her veins. A pained moan escaped from her lips as she tried to take the first step towards safety, but… well, the only thing she managed was to collapse on the floor. Even her thoughts were melting, melting in the agonizing heat, and--)

“There you go, my dearest daughter,” Helia smirked, clearly enjoying herself. “Are you not happy? After all, I defeated your bitter rival for you. Nobody shall try to steal your crown now, and nobody will lead your heart astray. She will never, ever touch you again. That I can guarantee-- I made it so that your skin feels like hellfire for her. Considering that she tried to kill you once, I’d say this is only fair. No?” The sun queen fell silent for a while, most likely so that Selene’s pained whimpers got the chance to shine. Indeed, the acoustic qualities of the catacombs were too glorious to remain unutilized!

“Of course, there is a way to break this curse,” she said, after a perfectly calculated pause. “We both know that you won’t do it, though, because you are both a weakling and a fraud. You love your humans too much to exchange their lives for hers, don’t you? My sweet, silly, merciful daughter! …may you choke on it, and she as well.”
 

starboob

lover / leaver
By the time that Sol realizes that her friend wants to bail it’s too late. Orange is spiralling through the air, faster than she can move, and all she can do is helplessly watch as the spell hits Selene square in the chest. She’s too stunned to even move as Selene’s body hits the ground. A million nightmares cross her mind at once, wondering just what her mother’s done to her moon. She still remembers finding Selene in the dungeons, sobbing through her stitches because of the lava coursing through her veins, and she knows it has to be even worse than that.

(This is her fault. Selene wanted to leave and Sol didn’t even think to anticipate that possibility. She just made the choice to square up and face Helia and now look at who’s paying for it! The great sweetie pie Selene.)

She falls to her knees and reaches for her friend, but stops just shy of touching her when her mother starts to explain. Immediately, she retracts her hands and scoots away from the moon daughter, backing herself into the charred wall behind her. Each whimper is like a sledgehammer to her hearts, aching for the moon daughter, the goddess who she really think she could love. ‘No, no, no––’

And it keeps getting worse.

Selene is going to suffer for as long as this curse is placed on her. If Sol even so much as accidentally brushes up against her, she’ll be in a world more of pain. The only way to… This is Helia’s cruelest manipulation. She wins either way and Sol loses either way. (The only loophole she can think of is letting the mortals live out their natural lives, but she can’t let Selene be in pain for that unknown amount of time.) But she… she has to do this. There’s no question about it. Feelings aside, she needs Selene. The courts need Selene. Sol cannot fix everything on her own and for the fate of everyone Selene needs to be saved––because they’re goddesses and they’re important. (This feels so slimy.) Everyone, of course, is important, and these mortals (whoever they are) will be integral in saving the courts from collapsing. Right? (How is she going to live with herself?)

“Oh, and Sol?” Helia smiles, “Effective immediately, you are banished from the Sun court. Thankfully, you caught me in a good mood so I will give you thirty seconds to leave before the fire signs come for you.” Without further explanation, the Sun queen leaves in a flash.

There’s too much going on for Sol to process anything properly and she barely registers the gravity of being banished. Shakily, she sweeps the bone pile into her bag and then uses her plants to gather Selene into a soft vine cocoon. She grabs the cocoon and pulls them towards her hidden oasis––pulling them through space and time, that is––before Helia’s timer goes off. In a matter of a second, they’re dumped out near the crystal blue waters of the oasis and Sol undoes the vines around Selene. “I’m so sorry,” she mutters, the apology pouring from her lips like a waterfall. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean... I didn’t think… I wasn’t thinking, Selene. I’m sorry.” She can’t stop saying it and the creeping worry that she might be annoying the moon princess lingers in the back of her mind. (She used to hate it when Sol babbled so much and while she knows that Selene is changing, she knows that in this kind of state she might find herself annoyed with Sol again. Especially since this is all. Sol’s. fault.)

“I’m going to make this right. I’m gonna fix this,” she promises, scooting closer to the bank so that she can gather some of the water into her bota bag. She brings it over to the other goddess, setting it on the sands and pushing it towards her. “Helia’s wrong about me. She always has been, but I’m not weak and I’m not a fraud. I may be merciful, but that’s only to make up for how cruel she is…”

“Still I…” she chews on the corner of her lip and brings her knees up to her chest. “I’ve never done anything like this before. Not on purpose. Not intentionally. How do I… What if I… Selene, what do I do?” Because even if Sol knows how to murder in theory, she knows that it takes a certain type of fortitude to actually follow through with it. Sure, she’s fallen victim to a murderous and uncontrollable rage once or twice in her lifetime and even plotted raids that resulted in moon civilian deaths, but those instances are going to be light years away from straight up murdering innocent mortals to save Selene from this curse. (It’s even beyond her own feelings for Selene. This is just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing and yet it’s so wrong and there’s no way for her to squirm out of it. There’s no chance for her to pull a classic Sol and just ignore this problem and shirk her responsibilities, because this actually is affecting someone who she very well might have Big Feelings for. Even if she didn't have these feelings, she can't let another person suffer like this.) “How do I make sure it’s painless?”

“And what are you going to think of me when it’s done?” When, not if, because the sunbeam has made up her mind. Those mortals are going to die and it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be okay. This is for the good of everyone, ultimately, because this is to ensure that Helia and Luna are taken down. It’s not cold blooded. It’s not. (And she really needs that assurance from someone who she can trust, like Selene. Because she can already hear Helia’s taunts in her mind when she finds out what her daughter did. “Did it feel good, my darling? What was it like to watch the lights leave their eyes? You become more and more my mirror image and I could not be more proud, my daughter.”)
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
It hurt. Fiery phantoms were dancing behind her closed eyes, both touching her and not, and laughing, laughing, laughing-- laughing at her, Selene did not doubt. After all, there was a lot to laugh at. You know, such as the idea of her possibly measuring up to the likes of Helia? Indeed, exactly that. Just childish fancies disguised as actual plans, about as foolish as the idea of a mayfly living through winter. (The echoes of all the voices were scraping against her ears, sharp as glass. ‘Failure,’ they giggled. ‘Stupid. Had you just stuck to Luna’s wisdom, this wouldn’t have happened. Was it worth it, hmm? Your juvenile rebellion?’ …yes. Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes, the moon princess knew. To Luna, she’d been nothing but a doll-- a creature barely sentient, to dance according to her whims. A pale shadow of Dianna, writhing on the wall. And, the worst thing about that? She’d confirmed it, over and over and over. Luna had tied strings to her limbs, and, instead of cutting them, Selene had thanked her for the guidance! Not anymore, though. Never. Even if her short-lived freedom had led to this, it was the only thing that had ever truly belonged to her. No point in crying about it, she supposed. Especially since the tears were just going to evaporate in the heat! Selene was nothing if not efficient, and she certainly wasn’t going to waste her energy on that when her skin was melting. Heh. At least this would score her some coolness points with Sol? The great Selene, too metal to shed a few tears even while getting tortured to death! Well, not to death, as the goddesses enjoyed their undying privilege, but to… uh, something? Look, you wouldn’t be great at comparisons if your brain was being melted, either. Just give her a break.)

‘No break from your own stupidity,’ the phantoms giggled, circling her like a prey. (That was exactly what she was.) ‘It’s what you chose, remember? So take that sweet choice of yours, and fucking choke on it.’

Both Sol and Helia spoke, the moon princess did realize, but the conversation may as well have been happening on some other planet. They opened their mouths, though no sounds came out-- no sounds, no words, no anything. To Selene, they looked like fish that had been pulled out of the ocean, and were now gasping for air furiously. Or was it her own whimpering that caused her not to hear? Functionally, there was little difference between the two. I… ah, I bet she’s just gloating, anyway. The chance of hearing anything else from Helia was about as low as the chance of you sticking your hand into a fire and not getting burnt, so Selene wasn’t exactly mourning the loss of the precious source of information here. Only, why was Sol still listening to her? Just… get out of here, the moon princess thought, to the extent she was still capable of thinking. What are you even waiting for? For her to do the same to you? The law of self-preservation demanded that the sunbeam hightail it out of there right fucking now, but… well, maybe it was foolish to assume that Sol out of all people would allow herself to be shackled by rules. Any rules, including those that had shaped their universe itself. Instead of just leaving her to her fate, she teleported her… somewhere? Somewhere that the moon princess would have admired, had it not been for the fact that her aesthetic sensibilities weren’t at the forefront now. Not at all.

“Ah,” she moaned, not even caring about how pathetic that must have sounded. (That alone pointed to just how serious it was. Selene, discarding her precious reputation? Had she been mortal, that would have been the reason to send out the obituaries.) “Don’t… don’t apologize. You weren’t the one to fling that curse at me.” Helia alone bore the responsibility for that, and the moon princess saw no advantage to terrorizing Sol because of it. (Sol, who saw something special in her. Sol, who was the only one who had ever looked at her and seen something else than just the princess of the moon kingdom. Sol, who already bore the weight of her mother’s sins with eagerness that couldn’t have been healthy, and even a trainwreck like her understood that. Sol, who… would apparently kill for her?)


The sun heiress might as well have claimed to have been a unicorn in disguise all along, and Selene would have been less surprised. Much less surprised. “You would… ah, you would do that for me?” she managed to utter, through the spasms of pain. (Sol? Sol, with all her silly hang ups?! She'd always been 'the sanctity of life' this, 'thou shall not kill' that, and yet, yet the sunbeam was promising to sacrifice others now, as easily as if she was talking about the weather. Oh. Was that what it felt like, to have someone care about her? Selene did like the feeling. She liked it so much that she would love to lock it in a laboratory, clone it, and supply herself with it for the remainder of her existence. Wait, she realized, after an embarrassingly long pause, I don't have to do that. I just need to keep her.)

Worrying about things like it being painless was a typically amateurish way of thinking, but Selene supposed it was unfair to expect anything else from an amateur. You didn't just wake up as a murderous goddess of murder, after all! No, you just had to earn that sweet, sweet lack of conscience. Maybe, in a century or two, they could compete with each other over who had the most kills in a month, but they'd have to work their way towards that. (The idea of Sol, being so delightfully cruel... ah, that didn't at all scream 'be careful what you wish for.' Nope, not at all!) "T-thank you," she whispered. "I mean it. And it's... quite easy. Let them... bleed out. It will feel as if they're being freed. Just cut one of those big arteries, like the one found in the neck. I, ah, don't recommend fire." When Sol asked what she would think about her afterwards, though? Selene's brow furrowed, because she really, really didn't get the question. "I'll... be thankful? I mean, mortals... die all the time. Just find the ones who are already sick if you... if you feel so bad about it. They often pray for death, anyway."
 

starboob

lover / leaver
If Sol could take away Selene’s pain and make it her own, she would. In a second. In a heartbeat. At lightspeed. The other goddess’s whimpers are going to echo in her mind for days, even long after this fiasco passes, she knows that she will think of them and remember what Helia has done to her because of her. (Sol doesn’t want to believe that this isn’t her fault. Selene used to always say that Sol never considered what the other princess wanted and how can she not make this connection here? Stupidly, the sunbeam went rogue and challenged Helia and she should have known that the Sun would use a dirty trick like this to send a clear message to her daughter. She always needs to be thinking of the safety of others and she failed to consider Selene’s, the goddess who she most admires and cherishes. If she could go back in time, she would undo all of this. But she can’t. She can only save the future.) “I know, I know––but I should have been more careful. I should have seen that coming. It’s Helia we’re dealing with, not some other random villain meant to make us stronger.”

The sunbeam rises from her knees and takes a few steps back from Selene as she gives her instructions and reassurance. “Honestly, Selene, at this point I’m not sure what I wouldn’t do for you,” she nods, biting her lip at the admission. She figures this is an alright thing for her to say, because she trusts Selene and knows the other goddess would never use this information to hurt her. Not like she might have in the past. Selene’s changed and Sol can finally see the friend in her––the one she knew was in there all along.

She winces watching the goddess spasm under the Sun queen’s spell and has to look away. (It’s replaying over and over again in her head, along with the sound of those pained moans. She wants Selene to be okay. She needs her to be okay. Like, honestly? Screw their rebellion, she might actually be doing this just for Selene. Only for Selene.) And maybe that’s why she smiles when the moon princess offers her advice on Murder 101––it’s just like her to make it sound simple and easy. As ordinary as ordering a crunchwrap supreme from Taco Bell (she doesn’t have time to analyze where that came from). She turns her cheek so that Selene can make out her grinning profile and replies, “I like you, Selene. You’re always you. Catch you on the flip.”

And with a two finger salute, the sunbeam sinks into the sands of the desert and falls onto Earth. “Oof.” She blinks and looks up to see that she’s landed in front of a storefront. The sign reads, “Your Moms Psychic.” Why does this sound familiar, again? ‘Is this the place Selene and I went the first time we visited Earth and found out we murdered our friends?’ Her memory is a bit foggy on that, but she’s pretty sure it’s the very same place. It feels familiar at least.

So this is who her mom Helia tied to the other end of the curse. Just because she could. Just because she thought that would stop Sol. (And if it doesn’t? Then Helia finally gets the ruthless daughter she’s always wanted, because this? This is ruthless. Sol thinks so at least.)

Sol yanks the door open to the shop and the doorbells jingle loudly to announce her entrance.

“Just a minute!” she hears a voice call from the back.

‘Alright, Sol. You got this. It’s just murder. Even if you don’t got this, you kind of need to figure out a way to get it. This isn’t about you. This is about Selene.’ The sunbeam tries to steal herself over, but she’s shaking like a leaf. She can’t even catch her breath, it’s just coming out in shallow gasps. ‘Ican’tIcan’tIcan’t.’ The footsteps are getting closer and closer and she can hear the woman muttering something about how she’s been expecting Sol. ‘Youwillyouwillyouwill.’

“Ah, you’re back!” the old woman beams, pushing up her huge coke bottle glasses. Around her chest Sol can see a golden chain tightening around the woman’s heart. She can also see wisps of energy darting back and forth between the heavens and Earth. Without a shadow of a doubt, that’s the anchor for the curse. “Are you here to have the next part of your future told? I can tell you right now that your story is about to get very interesting, Sol.”

“Yeah,” Sol whispers, “I know.” She remembers that Selene told her no fire and to go for an artery. Okay. She’s going to do this. She’s actually going to do this. It’s for Selene. It’s for the fate of the courts. It doesn’t matter what it’s for because she’s trading in one life for another when all is said and done. She’s telling this woman (who looks so sweet) that her life is worth less than others and, hey, even if it’s true that doesn’t mean it feels good. ‘I’m gonna choke. I can’t.’

“Let’s have some tea first, Sol. There seems to be a lot on your mind,” the woman smiles and beckons the young goddess to take a seat. (She seems so nice. She seems familiar. She seems a lot of things that Sol will never know for sure.) “Are you still a fan of that lemon mint mix?”

Without questioning how a psychic knows so much about her (she’s a psychic) and not quite ready to dive into the business of murder, Sol finds herself gravitating towards the table the woman has set up at the front of the shop and taking a seat on one of the poufs. (This is a mistake. This is like how you don’t name the animals you intend to slaughter for food. But Sol can’t help herself. She needs to know her victim.) The woman whisks through her shop for supplies and comes back with a tray stacked with cups, biscuits, tea bags, etc. and sets it before the goddess. “So, tell me, Sol, what’s on your mind?”

“Well,” she stares down at her white knuckles, clutching her knees like her life depends on it. (It’s not her life that’s on the line, however.) Blood rushes to her ears and blocks out all noise. Everything sounds as though it’s been filtered through a jar stuffed with cotton in that it’s both echoing and muffled, like listening to a conversation through thick plaster walls. Her mind is a blank slate. She shuts off her worries. She shuts off her thoughts. She shuts off her emotions. “I guess it’s just that I have to kill you to save my friend.”

From the emptiness in her stilled hearts, she pulls out a knife made of the Sun’s light and aims it at the psychic’s throat. (Is it a trick of the light or does the woman welcome the knife? Sol can’t be too sure. She doesn’t want to think about it.) The woman brings her hand to cover the wound, but everyone in the room know that that won’t do anything to staunch the bleeding. Soon her hands are coated with red; red is spilling from her old, wrinkly lips, and she sinks to her knees. Not a drop of blood splashes or gets on Sol, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel dirty. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel like she’s made a mistake. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t angry that this happened. (Did it work? Is the curse broken?) “I’m sorry.”

Sol wishes she could say that it ends there, but it doesn’t. The second she leaves the psychic shop, she notices more of those gold chains tied around people’s chests. She notices more energy signatures tracing back up to the heavens and she realizes Helia didn’t anchor the curse to only one person in this small town. She anchored it to everyone.

The entire town. (Is Selene’s life worth this many?)

***​

By the time that Sol comes back to the oasis, she’s shell-shocked and wide-eyed. (That was…? Horrifying. Atrocious. Her hands are stained red (literally). She will never be able to erase this stain from her mind and what’s worse? Everyone seemed to know her, too. She doesn’t understand how and assumes it must be the goddess factor—of course she’s known. It’s not like she grew up around these people and their looks of utter betrayal weren’t as meaningless as she’s hoping. Haha. Ha.)

She slumps down next to Selene. “I think I got them all. Please tell me that worked? Are you cured?” Despite all the horrors still replaying in the back of her mind, she wants to know how her moon is and she wants her reassurance. And she wants her.
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
To mortals, time was seconds and minutes and hours, being tied by the hand of fate so that they formed years. To goddesses, it was… mostly irrelevant? Because time, you see, was a unit of deterioration-- you only had to count years to make a sense of the wrinkles being carved into your face, and the strength leaving your limbs. The great Selene had no need of that, duh! (…most of the time, at least. Let’s just say that her current state had bestowed a new kind of wisdom upon her. No, really. It turned out that when your skin was melting, and when there was a distance between Point of Suffering and Point of Relief, you would be grateful to have some idea of when it would all end. Who would have thought, huh? Quickly, give her a prize or two for deciphering the mysterious human customs! …or maybe not. Just fucking kill her, because anything, anything would have been better than this. Better than having the salvation of death torn from her hands, long before Luna had even thought of having heirs. Another victory of hers, she thought, bitterly, as the flames around her burned, burned and burned. Did she know as well? Maybe, maybe not, but since end result was the same, the moon princess didn’t bother with some grand search for the truth. At the end of the day, the fates loved Luna-- blessed every little thing she did, and cursed her. The scenario of her life had long since been written, in blood instead of gold, and this… this was a denouement. The last few strokes of the brush before the writer got bored with her story, and fucking threw her aside. What else to do with a goddess this pathetic, after all? Those… ah, those had always been her rules. ‘Kill the weak so that the strong may feast.’ Wrap it in nice words all you like, but the message was clear-- she was too weak to beat Helia, too weak to claim her revenge on Luna, too weak to break the narrative devised to strangle her. Too weak to do anything, really, but exist as Diana’s shadow. What was the point of that? To live for life’s sake? Disgusting! …and, what was even worse, it was only a matter of time before Sol saw that as well.)

Maybe she won’t return. The sulphur in her veins burned, making her toss and turn, but, somehow, that thought did bring her comfort. Or its twisted parody of it? Selene didn’t know anymore, and perhaps she never did. (Sol was, uh. You know, if something as cursed as F*cebook had existed in this dimension, the moon princess for sure would have labelled their relationship as ‘it’s complicated.’ Because it was! It was still hard to tell whether she resented her more than she desired her, or if she only wanted the sun heiress because she appeared to see something in her, but… yes. Her getting to stay out of this would have been nice, Selene supposed. That way, she could take care of her cows or try to grow chocolate out of candy wrappers or… or do literally anything but lose that sweet innocence of hers. Silly as it was, it was important to her, wasn’t it? Not being like Helia. Carving her own path, even if she did it with a pizza cutter instead of an appropriately badass sword. A stupid decision if you asked Selene, but it was hers, and that was more than what she could say about most of the actions she had taken. And when I finally do it, she thought with a bitter smile, it ends like this. Just leave me alone, Sol. Get distracted by a bunch of fucking butterflies and forget I ever existed. The chances of that happening were fifty percent, and… yeah. At least then she could blame her for being a filthy traitor, and not herself when Sol inevitably found out just how broken she was. Just how much of a monster she was.)

(Against her will, memories flashed through her mind. Her, the great Selene, smashing the other’s memories-- the shards of them raining down from the sky, more and more and more of them, and cutting her torso in half. A shame that hadn’t happened, really. Wouldn’t it have been better for everyone involved?)

Curled up in a tiny ball of pain, Selene closed her eyes. She tried to go away, just like she had done every time Luna had stabbed her with her criticisms (and actual blades from time to time as well), but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. The moon princess yelped, and then? Then it was suddenly gone. All of it, as if a sorceress snapped her fingers and magicked the pain away. That wasn’t the cause, though, now was it? Wasn’t, wasn’t, wasn’t, and Selene knew, and--

She did it. She really, really did it. For me. It was one thing to consider it, and something entirely different to have the proof shoved right into her hand. Entirely stunned, the moon princess stared into her own reflection in the pond, thinking of everything and nothing at all. (For her, Sol had murdered. The same Sol who felt too guilty stepping on a flower had taken lives, countless of them, just to… just to save her from the curse. Why? What had driven her to do so? You know, other than her being a manipulative piece of shit? Selene wished she had a better answer, but she didn’t. Maybe she, uh, discovered that killing is actually great and doesn’t mind anymore? Personally, the moon princess thought it was a little like bungee jumping-- scary at first, but so much fun that you kind of forgot about the not-so-great parts. Of course, that theory died the second Sol got back.)

“I…” Selene gulped, “…yes. It did, in fact, work. Thank you. I mean, I am sure that you did them all a favor, anyway. Existing as a human must be exhausting enough on its own-- that’s why they have those suicide machines.” So what if that was only true for that Futurama show? It wasn’t like actual facts mattered when she was speaking. Still, Sol’s sorrow did pull at her (non-existent) heartstrings, and so the moon princess rushed to her side. “How do you feel?”
 

starboob

lover / leaver
The Sol who returns is hardly the same Sol who left. In that, Selene gets her wish. (Sol coming back with blood splattered all over her clothes, matted in her hair, stained on her hands must be all of the moon princess’s wishes coming true at once. Isn’t this what she always wanted? The Sun princess can remember her counterpart pushing murder on her several times in the past and now it’s finally happened. For her. That has to mean something.) The echoes of their cries fill her ears and in between blinks she can still see their faces. So many of them looked into her eyes and she saw their confusion, their hurt––like they recognized her and could not believe the knife in her hands was meant for them. The images cut to red and the sticky smell clings to her nose. ‘I made it quick. I did what I could.’ The sunbeam holds her breath and presses her eyes shut, until it hurts. (What has she done? Can this be undone? ‘No,’ the Helia in her mind smirks.)

She swallows hard. Blinks, then looks up at Selene. Selene. This is the goddess for who she made all those sacrifices–– who is her counterpart, her fate, and her most certainly end. Without hesitating, she wraps her arms around the other goddess and pulls their bodies together. (She has to be worth it. She did this for her. There is no going back from this and all she has now is Selene and their impossible quest.) “Selene, there were ones who still had full lives ahead of them and I took that away. No one in that town wanted to die.” She squeezes her moon tighter. She understands that they will never see eye to eye on murder, even if Sol is now a mass murderer herself, but she doesn’t fault the other goddess for trying to comfort her as if she is a novice murderer. (She only wants this to be a one time thing. Never will she turn her blade, her fire, her roots on humans ever again. She’s not a killer. She’s not ruthless. She’s not Helia.) This is just Selene’s way of trying to make it better, because she knows the Sun princess is made of cotton candy and rainbows. (Or she was. What is she now? She doesn’t know.) She is happy to accept this comfort. It’s all she has and all she wants. Only Selene understands her. “I did this for you, though. I don’t regret it, because it gives us a chance for a future. Not just a future for united courts but us. I want to build a new era for you. Don’t we deserve something from this, too?” she asks, pulling away and pushing some hair from Selene’s face, then brushing her lips with her thumb. She’d kiss those lips if they were hers to kiss.

They are hers to kiss. Selene likes her. She likes Selene. (She has to. She just killed for her.) Then her eyes flicker down to look at the silver cuffs, writhing on Selene’s wrists. Anger starts to bubble in her veins, but before it can reach a boil, she retreats inward. (No more of that.) Her hands slide down from the moon daughter's shoulders to her hands, gripping them both in hers. “I’ll take care of that,” she promises. While she always means to keep her promises, because they are currency (and all she has now), it is not untrue to say that Sol has fallen short in the past. However this time? There is a steely air to her tone that almost seems out of place coming from Sol (is it just the shadows or does she look more like Helia now?), but it also makes it impossible to doubt her. She’s going to take care of this. Scorpio better watch out. “Will you take care of mine?” She doesn’t necessarily wish ill for Mars, and she ventures to guess their engagement may be nullified now that she’s been banished, but she still wants her unquestioningly out of the picture. It’d be better anyway for the people, because Mars has the same cruelty in her heart as the rest of her Helia’s court. “I want her head sent to Helia.” (Okay, maybe she does wish her ill but she won’t investigate this desire further. This is only for the legitimacy of her relationship with Selene. This is only to weaken the Sun court and send a message. This is not personal. This is just... rebellion.)

“But first we have to see if that stupid button is real.” For once Sol seems focused on the tasks they have to complete. She’s at her favorite spot where she goes to hide and shirk responsibilities, but she doesn’t even want to enjoy it. It doesn’t even occur to her to tell Selene about this place, how she found it, or even show her her favorite tree. To her, they might as well be in any other desert oasis. She lets go of Selene and narrows her eyes at the ground, then the skies. “I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of tired of the moms. All of them. There are too many in this story. We should do something about that, especially since all they do is disappoint and cause us trouble."
 

Syntra

Baba Yaga
Well… yes. Selene wasn’t going to deny that! Sol probably had killed a bunch of people that hadn’t wanted to be killed-- the idiots rarely knew what was good for them, and so they clung to the pitiful existence they had been granted. (If the moon princess had to compare it to something? Most likely, she’d say it would like… like continuing to eat stale bread when you could have divine mana instead. No, really. They lived in wretched bodies, rotting from inside; had to quench hunger and thirst; each and every day, fought against a wild cocktail of hormones. No, she wouldn’t have suffered through it for a day! …and yet, yet it was all they had. All they had ever known, really. The divine mana may have been there, but locked behind the bars of a silver cage. And, if they touched it? Their hands would get burnt-- reduced to ashes, falling slowly on the dying earth. Perhaps it is understandable, Selene had to admit. Them wanting to stay alive, I mean. Having no point of comparison was a hell of a drug, was it not? She, herself, had fallen victim to the illusion when… well, when it came to everything even tangentially related to Luna. Her mother, too, had been good at shaving her field of vision until it had become a tunnel-- a tunnel, with nothing but her glowing vision at the end. No more, though! Never, for as long as she lived.)

…yeah, except that something told her that Sol wouldn’t exactly enjoy her newfound enlightenment. ‘Oh yeah, people have feelings after all! Sorry you had to murder all of them for my sake, btw. Wanna go for a milkshake?’ As if. Selene herself may have been about as sensitive as the average mountain, but she wasn’t going to shove Sol into a ditch when even standing upright was devouring all of her energy now. (My fault, the moon princess realized. It was a strange feeling-- concepts like ‘guilt’ were usually so far removed from the Selene experience that she’d almost forgotten the word for it, but seeing Sol like that, with the light gone from her eyes… well, let’s just say that it served as a fine enough refresher. I have a role to play, too. I’m Selene, and I’m totally cool with murder. And, yes, that was still true! The natural cycle of life didn’t end with receiving a free coupon for more life--the earth wasn’t made of plastic, and thus couldn’t expand. Future corpses had to turn into current corpses, thank you very much! Being part of that glorious, glorious system was an honor, not something to be ashamed for. Selene just… had to downplay some of the realizations she’d had, really.) “Maybe,” the princess said, “but their lives are like the demo version of the actual thing, anyway. Besides, when they reincarnate,” if that was a thing, “they will get to be reborn as people who don’t have to die for my sake! That’s a nice bonus, I would guess. They won’t even remember you, and everything will be fine.” …relatively fine. Everything was relative, wasn’t it? Especially when you were trying to escape the guilt that definitely wasn’t gnawing at her insides. Ha, ha, ha!

(She did it for you. For you, for you, for you. Aren’t you happy? Aren’t you satisfied? …well, she wasn’t hurting. That alone should have been enough-- it should have and it was, because Selene was not choosy about these things. Just… couldn’t she have been one to pay the price? She, and not Sol? Such was the nature of Helia’s trap, the moon princess knew, but still, still!)

“Aww,” Selene’s lips turned up in a smile automatically, “that’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you, Sol. And why, yes, I would be happy to murder Mars for you! She will regret that she has ever dreamed of laying her filthy hands on you.” (No, none of that struck the moon princess as strange. If the warning bells were ringing in her head, she silenced them-- after all, this was all fine. Violence was her home, and there was no way that it would ever turn against her. Besides, threats that spilled from Sol’s lips sounded so, so sweet! Almost better than the promises of a sweet new future, coated in the blood of their enemies. She was made for this, Selene told herself. For bringing the end to our wretched mothers. For wringing out a new beginning out of the rotten, rotten presence.) “I… I also want to do right by you, Sol. Remember that. Never will I forget what you did for me, and I promise that you will not regret it.”

“Ah yes, the button,” she rubbed her head. “Thanks to all the side drama, I almost forgot.” You know who didn’t forget, though? The Devourer. Selene knew not how she knew that, but she did-- she sensed the ground shaking beneath their feet a few seconds before it translated into reality, too. Near them, the earth cracked, and then--

“You have not done what I wanted,” the Devourer’s voice boomed, from the depths of the galaxy. (It sounded distant and too close for comfort at the same time, like an enemy’s dagger against your bare skin.) “You did amuse me, though. And, above all, you’ve proven that you haven’t sunk low enough to be removed. You still have your roles to play, Sun and Moon. I will give you the button, but remember that you owe me. I shall collect the debt when I deem it necessary.” Which, phew! No way this was going to backfire on them later. Cryptic deals with cryptic entities, not working out in the hapless contractors’ favor? Nuh uh, never happened before. Besides, now wasn’t the time to spin useless theories-- not when the button emerged from nothingness, pulsing with strange, blue light.

“You are right,” the moon princess nodded resolutely. “I say, let’s become orphans. Those always get good endings because of the sympathy points. Crazy, isn’t it? It’s not like having a mother is something great. They’re just gates into existence, and ours were some shitty fucking gates.” A more careful woman might have waited, but Selene had had enough. With a flourish, she pushed it, and--

Immediately, the sky flickered in response. The stars littering the azure depths blinked, once and twice, and then they went out, submerging them in complete darkness. (A shiver ran down Selene’s spine, though she couldn’t tell whether it pleased her or not. Maybe a bit of both?)

“Did… did it work?”

“Ah, poor little Selene. Stupid Sol! Do you really think that pushing a button is all it takes?” It was neither Helia nor Luna, and yet, somehow, she could sense both of them in the voice. What the…? “You need to prove that you can absorb their powers. What, you think they just evaporate? No, they obviously go somewhere. Well?”
 

starboob

lover / leaver
Nothing is going to be the same again. Nothing. Sol is never going to be the same drop of sunshine that she used to be. Who she prided herself in being. (A dollop of Sun to brighten everyone’s day. She aspired to be the Sun who makes everyone smile, but after what happened in the hometown she no longer remembers… she thinks she’s lost her own smile.) She doesn’t know who she is anymore or even who she wants to be. (Can she still be a Sun who inspires calm warmth? Or is she going to be another scorcher like Helia?) She doesn’t want to be like Helia, but she doesn’t exactly know how to get herself off of this path. There’s so much anger burning in her chest––at herself, at Helia, at everything––but she figures it will go away. It always does. Sol is not an angry Sun. She’s not. (The recurring fantasy that she might be able to unleash her Inferno on Helia is so alluring, she can almost smell her charred corpse. This is a concerning thought, she knows, but she also assumes that nothing drastic will come of it. Helia does deserve to die and it always would have been by Sol’s hand, anyway, per the customs of the Sun court and the transference of power. She just imagined it happening through other means––like poison or burying her in an unending sea of puppies.)

Even if everything has changed, there is still Selene, the goddess who makes this all worth it. It had been necessary to make that sacrifice so that they can continue their mission. Only together can they reunify the courts and bring back balance. It does also help to think that those souls might continue on in another life––though she doubts their souls will forget her face. (Just look at what happened to her Inna-ness and her Liora-ness when their souls got upcycled.) It’s comforting either way, however, because it’s coming from Selene and she does appreciate that the other goddess is recognizing that the task weighs heavy on her hearts. She slumps her forehead down on Selene’s shoulder, giving herself some space to rest and maybe even forgive herself for what she’s done.

Except the anger in her hearts won’t be quenched so easily and she still feels it tearing her apart from the inside out. It needs out. Maybe some of it will be quelled when she vanquishes that stupid space arachnid, Scorpio. Maybe knowing both their stupid-faced fiancées are dead will raise her spirits––especially thinking of what a blow that might be to their mothers’ courts. She wraps her arms around Selene and squeezes her, now pressing her face into her neck. “She didn’t just dream of touching me, Selene. She did.” Not that Selene would have needed any encouragement to engage in wanton murder, but Sol wants to make sure the flame is appropriately hot when Mars meets her end. She wants Selene to obliterate her. “I hope you make her regret ever sneaking into my chambers at night.”

The promise that spills from Selene’s lips does soften Sol some. No one’s ever promised to take care of her before––not even Helia who left her to the lions of the court to be devoured. (They will all learn to never cross a rising Sun.) Selene is the only goddess watching out for her and she believes in her fully. Though this must be obvious, given how she has laid a pile of sacrifices at her moon’s altar.

While she wants to make a promise of her own, the Devourer claws its way through the sands and stands over the young goddesses. The (former) sunbeam tilts her head to the side at the glorified dog’s claim, not understanding how they failed their task but decides not to question it or worry herself over the beast coming back for what she’s owed. Plot points like this drop like flies in roleplays and she knows they have more important threats to prepare themselves for––like that demonic arc everyone keeps talking about. (That’s so not happening. Like, Sol? A demon? Pfft… Her recent activities and behavior are just one-offs, she’s sure.)

Anyway, when the Devourer belches up the button and Selene presses it, Sol waits with bated breath for something to happen. She imagines that the fall of their mothers will feel a little tingly, so she tries to watch for that sensation. However, rather than a tingle, the sky goes dark instead and the Devourer is nowhere to be seen. It's eerie, she will admit, and she wonders if they are even in the same dimension as before.

The voice that interrupts the silence startles Sol, unable to place exactly who is speaking to them. (It’s just too strange for her to place the layering and mixing of the luminary queens’ voices.) While Sol outwardly stiffens, she has to roll her eyes at the voice’s assumption––Sol never thought the button would work and had zero faith it would do anything at all. She’s more surprised than anything else that something at all happened.

“Page 3 called, it wants its insults back,” she says, pulling away from Selene to face… Well, she doesn’t know what exactly because there is no physical body present belittling them. She’s not going to take anymore insults to her character and she’s done with people thinking she’s stupid for wanting peace and happiness. (She can still give that. She can still provide that. She may have some crimes under her belt, but she can still be good.) “C’mon, Selene, let’s show this clown that we were literally born to be the ascending Sun and Moon––we’re not letting them destroy another cycle of heirs for their twisted purposes.”

“Hmph. Let’s see if you can entice us, brats. Know that failure means we shall take away your godhood and your dreams of grandeur will end here,” the voice smirks.

Sol actually rolls her eyes this time and takes Selene’s hand in her own. (On the intellectual level, she knows it’s unwise to take these threats lightly; at the same time, Sol just doesn’t care. She just doesn’t care about much at the moment––call it the numbing effect of murder. It might be reckless, but Sol’s always been more than a little reckless and in that sense, this is totally normal. She’s being total normal. Her usual self. The one Selene likes––and she does desperately need Selene to like her. For obvious reasons.) Rather than activate their goddess powers, Sol opts to take this opportunity to dance with her counterpart.

Though this isn’t Sol being naïve and trying to convince the entity they are worthy through fancy footwork––no. Sol is done being stupid Sol. There is purpose in this and it becomes evident when the hearts in her chest start to glow, lighting up the dark oasis. She has the moon princess spin and while she spins, the Sun princess creates pebble-sized balls of light that she flicks into the blank sky; she wills them to form new constellations––ones that reflect their story. One of two hearts, that beat as one; one of the mothericorn’s demise; one that pays homage to their lost Earth friends; and on and on and on. Soon, the sky is lit again (or at least appears so) with Sol’s made-up constellations. She adorns her hair with wildflowers and turns her skirts to gentle flames, one that won’t catch on Selene.

With a mischievous grin, she throws herself backwards like a maiden in distress and exclaims, “Selene! Won’t you save our dance from the… dragon!” Yup, mhm. She feigns fear and points behind Selene and if the moon princess turns around, she will see a fast approaching serpent-like dragon made of golden flames. It opens its jaw and fires starts to twist in its mouth, turning into a ball that's aimed directly at the princesses––
 

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