Threads Of Control
The music filtered down from the open palace windows, floating along on the cool air, weaving through the branches and blooms of the moonlit garden until it wound itself around Ares' slightly trembling form. Anger, he told himself, it was anger making his limbs quiver. Anger. Not fear. He was not afraid. He knew he was doing right thing. Ares nodded, his fingernails biting deep into his palms. Zeus had no right to send him to bed as if he was no more than a bothersome child. No right. He would become god of war one day, but now the visiting Persian Pantheon thought of him as a baby to be closeted away for his own protection. Ares' bottom lip burst beneath his worrying teeth and the sharp taste of warm blood filled his mouth. With a stab of irritation, he healed himself, determined to go through with his plan no matter the consequences. Arguing with Zeus never brought him anything but frustration. No, the only way to do the right thing was to deliberately disobey his father and attend the party regardless. Without Zeus' permission, against Zeus' express command. His stomach contracted painfully. Taking a steadying breath, Ares prepared to step out from the shadow of the large olive tree before heading for the brightly-lit palace.
"Hello, little one."
Ares whipped around at the sudden sound of the unfamiliar voice, and found himself backed up against the tree trunk. Idiot, he should have been sensing for approaching presences instead of worrying about Zeus. But, even now, he couldn't sense this being. His heart skipped a beat. He fed more power into his senses, strengthening them, stretching them...To no avail.
"I am Angra Mainyu." The foreign god smiled, tossing a lock of silky black hair over his violet robed shoulder. "I'm visiting these fine halls with my fellows." He rippled across the grass towards Ares, his long fingernails glittering in the moonlight as his pale hands danced through the air before him. "And who are you, my young friend?"
Ares looked up into the god's golden eyes, bright with an indiscernible emotion. He reached out with his senses again. Again, he felt nothing in return. It was if the Persian wasn't there, or didn't want to be discovered. Ares shivered, welcoming the chafe of rough bark through his tunic as fit punishment for his foolishness.
"Come now, tell me your name, child." The being's smile widened as he brushed the back of his hand across Ares' lower lip. He then paused to consider the blood staining his skin. In a heartbeat, a long blue tongue snaked out to lave the hand clean.
"I'm not a child," Ares answered, panic flooding through his corporeal form, his power core shivering. A small sound of panic began to crawl up his throat and his energy patterns began to disrupt with the welling need to call for someone, anyone, who could take this god's devouring gaze from him. He pressed his back to the tree, finding some comfort in its solid presence.
"Do not be afraid." That white hand came up again, this time to brush Ares' cheek. "I'm not--"
"I'm not afraid," Ares snapped, jerking his head back from the questing fingers and stepping away from the tree. "I'm Ares."
"I know you are," the creature smirked and Ares was suddenly cornered against the tree with cold hands working their way beneath his tunic. "And a tasty little morsel too." The tongue hissed through the air above Ares' head.
Ares struggled, his fear fuelled by anger and humiliation. "Get your filthy paws off me!" He lashed out with enough power to send the Persian stumbling back a few surprised paces.
"Well, well." The shock in Angra Mainyu's eyes swiftly gave way to anger, and then cool calculation. "It looks like my little morsel has some teeth." He smiled. "Good."
A tingle of dread prickled Ares' skin. Threads of foreign energy began weaving their way around him, tracing his energy signature unerringly back to his core while those hands wrapped around him once more. Ares moaned into a harsh, biting kiss, feeling the alien power wrapping around him, stroking and lulling him. Then that long tongue was prying his teeth apart.
"Yes," Angra Mainyu hissed into Ares' mouth. "You're mine."
Ares knew it was true even as his eyes watered from the spicy taste of that invading tongue. He was losing his sense of self with each wave of pleasure Angra Mainyu washed over him. He couldn't tell where he ended and Angra Mainyu began. There was nothing but pleasure, so much pleasure.
Then bellowing -- someone was shouting curses and wrenching Ares from that pit of ecstasy to pull him bodily across the dizzying vista of the dark formal gardens. He became vaguely aware of an arm holding him tightly against a heaving chest before pain overcame his senses. The agony radiating through him was so overwhelming that Ares would have collapsed onto the silvered grass if not for the strong arm holding him steady. Angra Mainyu, his mind groped dazedly for the answer to this unbelievable torture, Angra Mainyu had been inside him, warping his power, consuming him. Suddenly sickened, Ares pushed against the body holding him, lashing out against the final traces of Angra Mainyu's power that still clung to him. But his thrashing was stilled; soothed by a familiar, gentle presence that angrily wiped away all the foreign power threads before wrapping him in a cocoon of calm.
"Heph?" His lips mumbled against the fabric beneath his cheek, feeling the heat of the fire god's skin warming it.
"Shush." Hephaestus squeezed Ares against him. "It's alright now. I've got you."
"Don't get so upset," Angra Mainyu purred. "Of course I did not know he was your brother. I thought he was a serving--"
"Don't talk shit, you pathetic bastard," Hephaestus growled back. "You knew who he was as soon as you touched him with your foul stench. You won't get away with it," Heph continued as Angra Mainyu sighed. "You arrogant prick!" Ares was pushed further around his brother's back as Hephaestus jerked forward as if to strike the Persian. "Do you think you can come to Olympus and power rape a child?"
In the tense stillness that followed, the air crackled with Hephaestus' barely contained anger and the enormity of what had occurred finally wound its way into Ares' muddled mind. It was true: Angra Mainyu had tried to rape him by devouring his energy and making him enjoy it. And he had. Nausea suddenly crashed over him, making his knees buckle and his throat gag. Hephaestus held him steady.
"What is the meaning of this?" Zeus thundered into the garden with Apollo at his side. Ares looked up to meet his father's gaze as it lingered on him before sweeping over the other gods. "Hephaestus?" He glowered, his tone as cold as Tartarus for his wife's son.
"That bastard had Ares against the tree," Hephaestus began as Ares was pulled from his embrace into Apollo's searching hands. "He was trying to rape him."
"Is that so." Zeus considered Hephaestus' statement stonily. "Very well. Return to our guests."
"Return to our guests. This is none of your concern."
His body tingling from Apollo's healing touch, Ares avoided Hephaestus' gaze. He did not look up again until he felt Hephaestus reluctantly return to the palace. It was then he found Zeus' attention on him once more, assessing him, analysing him. Ares briefly felt the familiar touch of his father's energy signature. He saw anger, then disappointment, flit across Zeus' face. Then he felt cold dismissal when Zeus turned to face Angra Mainyu. "He'll be alright?" Zeus was asking Apollo but watching the Persian.
"Fine." Apollo tried to hold Ares as Hephaestus had done but Ares pushed him away with a surge of fury.
"Don't touch me," Ares hoarsed, his embarrassment reaching a new, acute level with the realisation that his throat was raw from sobbing. "I'm fine." He shrugged off Apollo's comforting hand.
"Apollo, take Ares to his room." Zeus didn't spare his sons a glance; he continued to hold the Persian's increasingly nervous gaze.
Avoiding Apollo's more determined attempt to grab him, Ares strode towards Zeus on treacherously unsteady legs and positioned himself between his father and Angra Mainyu. "Father, I humbly besiege your forgiveness," he spoke loudly and clearly despite his aching throat.
"Ares, not now. Go to your room," Zeus growled, still not looking upon his son.
Ares felt Apollo move up behind him and continued his speech quickly. "I deliberately led Angra Mainyu on, seducing him with no thought for the political ramifications of my actions." He felt the waves of shock from the other gods and looked down at the grass when Zeus' gaze finally found him.
"What are you talking about, boy?" Zeus snapped.
"I beg your forgiveness, Father." Ares swallowed painfully. "I grew tired of corporeal pleasures and wished to try something new. The desire to feel another's power, to blend with them, overwhelmed me." Bile rose up his throat. "I came upon Angra Mainyu in the gardens and let my desire flood him. I hope you can forgive me this folly, Great Zeus." He took a deep breath, bowed to Zeus then turned to meet Angra Mainyu's quizzical gaze. "Please accept my apology." He bowed low, swallowing rapidly.
Flute music weaved its way around them in the darkness.
Apollo cursed softly under his breath.
Zeus growled a sigh. "Ares go to your room." His voice was disturbingly flat.
Ares drew a breath.
"Now!" Zeus bit the word off and spat it like a physical blow.
Ares let himself be turned around, walking mechanically through the formal gardens, unaware of his brother's fingers digging into his shoulder until Apollo hissed in his ear.
"Have you lost your senses? You know better than to embarrass the old goat like that. You should have let Zeus blast him. Don't tell me you actually enjoyed that bastard touching you. You're lucky Hera isn't here. She wouldn't have been swayed by your pretty words."
"Just shut up, Apollo." Ares wrenched his shoulder from his brother's grasp and stumbled over a clump of grass, which he promptly kicked.
"Ares the great garden warrior," Apollo jeered. "What a great war god you're going to be, seducing Persian rapists and attacking the plant life. I'm so impressed."
"You will be." Ares rounded on Apollo with a snarl. "When I punch that smirk right off your ugly face."
"Oh, go right ahead." Apollo crossed his arms and waited. "I'd love to hear what Zeus says about that."
Frustration chafing at him like the suffocating old blanket it was, Ares glared from Apollo back to the palace then turned on his heel and strode away.
He sighed as Apollo jogged up behind him. "Leave me alone, Apollo. I'm going back to my room like a good little god so just piss off, okay?"
But Apollo stood before him, halting Ares by bringing his hands up to gently caress either side of Ares' neck. "Why did you do it?" Apollo asked softly, bringing his lips to within kissing distance so his warm breath blessed Ares' flushed cheeks. "Why did you let Angra Mainyu off the hook? There is no shame in being taken by a stronger force, Ares. No shame in submitting to a more powerful god."
"Would you have submitted?" Ares returned low.
"I'm not a child." Apollo sniffed.
"Neither am I."
"No, you're not." Apollo's fingers moved up to Ares' cheekbones. "But you are young. There is no shame in that."
"I'm not ashamed," Ares spoke against the pressure of Apollo's soft lips then opened his mouth to the warm honey taste of his brother's tongue. As the kiss deepened, Ares moved his hip against Apollo's burgeoning erection.
Apollo broke the kiss, panting. "If you wanted a core fuck you should have come to me." His fingers twisted in Ares' hair, forcing Ares to meet his mouth once more.
"You wish." Ares pulled himself free of the possessive grasp, dancing back a few steps and grinning at Apollo's gaping expression. "I think the future god of war can do better than a shiny healer for his first core fuck, don't you?"
"You cheeky little..." Apollo finished with a wordless growl, a sneer settling over his face. "Heph should have let Angra Mainyu finish what he started. Maybe that would have knocked some of the cockiness out of you."
"Oh? And let you get your cock-iness into me?" Ares looked pointedly down at Apollo's straining crotch. "Looks painful, bro, but I don't think so." He shook his head in mock sadness and continued to walk backwards through gardens.
"Fuck you, Ares." Apollo scowled. "No one is going to stop you being that Persian's Olympian whore, if that's what you want, but you shouldn't have let him get away with that."
Ares froze in place. As cold as stone, he watched Apollo frown then shift his weight uneasily. When he heard his own voice, it was deep and flat in the darkness. "Who says he got away with it?"