In Paradisum

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Fifty Years Later

Hades, Ares, and I are incredibly high. We sit on my couch, collapsed in a heap, laughing through a haze of wine and weed. Giggling to ourselves as our buzzes peak and fade. We swap insults and trade stories. I've made it a habit to live as an Earthling, they've made it a habit to visit me from time to time. None of us suffer in solitude; not anymore. Life is full of color and light, companionship and joy. 

Everything does not suck. 

An old, archaic bright-blue pain flashes and spasms at the base of my neck. We've all been ignoring it for the last twenty minutes; the name, the sound, the order that blazed through my living room and blew out all of my electronics. 

Zeus calling for me to come to Olympus. 

Again. 

"You know you're going to have to go," Hades says nonchalantly, his leg flopping over the couch's armrest. A strange, suppressed glimmer dances in the swirling green and yellow clouds of his eyes. 

"Why," I ask, squinting at him suspiciously. 

"I'll go with you," he offers, taking another glug of wine. 

Ares giggles. Giggles. The God of War snickering like a schoolgirl. He covers well enough, quickly shoveling a piece of pizza into his mouth. 

"What is going on?" I ask, looking at both of them in with erratic indignity. 

Hades shoots Ares a look and the latter sobers, the former runs his hands through his hair and lights a cigarette. 

"Nothing is going on." Hades coos soothingly, inhaling luxuriously.

"Whatever you say, Pluto." I cross my arms and stare down my brothers.

"Don't call me that!"

My name roars through the room again, riding a shower of thunderbolts that singe the air in my living room, the hydrogen and the oxygen pop and snap like breakfast cereal. 

Fine, you mother fucker, I'm coming. Just don't send Hermes. I hate him. I answer the King of the Gods with my usual docility and admiration. 

I have half a mind to send Hermes just to spite you.

Dick.

Ares slaps his hands against his thighs and stands up, "Well, I think that's our cue, Hades."

Hades nods and stands up. They both rock and totter on unsteady, drunken feet. 

"I thought you said you were coming too," I whine, throwing my hair into a messy bun. 

"We can't go where you're headed," Ares says mysteriously. He adds a wink to seal the deal. 

Hades steps towards me with wide, open arms. He tucks me tight into his chest and kisses the top of my head. "I love you, Eris," he offers without preamble. 

"Seriously, guys, what is happening—"

Ares piles onto our hug with a grunt and the warm press of his body, "Eris, you are lovely and you are wonderful."

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