And there goes Elizabeta, goddess of the moon
and frying pans. Gupta looked around the pillar he was hiding behind to watch as Elizabeta drove her chariot across the sky, bringing the night. Oh yes, she was beautiful. But she was freaking scary. Elizabeta was known for smacking people with her frying pan when she was pissed, and sometimes when she was just felt like whacking people. Gilbert was known for getting the worst of it; those two were constantly fighting over something or other.
Better get moving, Gupta sighed and begin carefully making his way over to the pavilion Alfred and Arthur had built specially for their little son. It wasn't exactly hard to find, it was the only building that had several different pieces of architecture mixed together. Gupta had heard from some dryads (while he was undercover of course) that there had been a huge fight over the decorations for little Heracles pavilion. Alfred had wanted more modern and crazy stuff while Arthur was fond of classical and elegant. The agreement reached had been for each of them to do one half of Heracles pavilion, creating an almost amusing mess of modern and classical.
As Gupta crept closer to the pavilion he began to hear soft snoring coming from the cradle. Gupta looked down at little Heracles. Well the boy was definitely going to be a looker when he got older. Heracles curly brown hair looked soft to the touch, and even the two little curls on the top of his head only seemed to add to his charm. Too bad Sadiq is going to kill him, Gupta sighed and before he lost his nerve, Gupta scooped up Heracles and began to run.
Too bad he forgot about the cat.
Hissing and spitting Hiroki awoke, and seeing his master being taken away from somebody obviously not friendly, the kitten leapt up to protect Heracles. Gupta received a face full of claws and teeth at one hundred miles per hour, or at least that's what it felt like. Claws ripped down his face and Gupta felt teeth latch on his head. But the kitten was still pretty much a newborn and Gupta easily pulled Hiroki off and threw him away blindly. But luck seemed to be on Gupta's side that night, for Hiroki fell face first into a gourd and his little head got stuck.
"Heracles?" Gupta froze as a sudden bellow came from behind him.
Luck was a fickle mistress.
Gupta bulleted away, down the steps of Mount Axis and as quickly as he possibly could, Gupta escaped to the human world below, even as he heard the shouts of Alfred and Arthur as they discovered that their son was missing.
"Okay kid, drink this little formula." Gupta shoved the bottle Sadiq had given to him into little Heracles crying mouth.
Must not feel guilty, Gupta watched as Heracles began drinking the deep pink liquid. He dimly thought of the conversation he had with Sadiq only hours before.
"Sadiq, I know for a fact you are more powerful than me. How can I ever hope to make the child mortal when you cannot?" Gupta said quietly, shrinking under Sadiq's gaze.
"Ah," Sadiq smirked, "My little minion. There are many mysterious things in this world. I have had the fortune to come across a plant called the Plant of the Axis. It is said a mysterious power called the power of Italia lives in the plant, and renders whoever eats the plant completely useless and weak. But for us gods it makes us mortal."
Gupta frowned and cocked his head, thinking.
"How is it that you know it does this?"
Sadiq's smirk grew and his eyes behind his white mask grew cold, "Ah ah. I have my secrets like everyone else."
Sadiq turned around and walked over to a small cabinet, to which he shuffled around in for a minute before bringing out a small bottle with a skull stopper.
"Make the boy drink this, and he shall become mortal. Kill him then." Sadiq handed the bottle over to Gupta, who handled it very carefully and prepared to leave. Sadiq's voice suddenly stopped him as he was almost out the door.
"Oh, and Gupta," Gupta turned back to his master.
"The kid has to drink every drop. Every little drop. Not even the smallest amount must be left." Gupta nodded, and left.
Gupta frowned as he watched Heracles begin to finish off the drink.
"Who's there?" a sudden shout startled Gupta. He turned quickly to look around and a sudden light blinded him. Quickly dropping the bottle from Heracles mouth, which shattered on the ground, Gupta ran for cover behind a pile of stones.
"It's a baby," a sudden gruff voice came from the direction of the light. Gupta carefully looked around and as his eyes adjusted to the light he saw a tall man frowning and looking around with a torch in his hands. The man had to be six foot at least, and he had brownish blonde hair and dark green blue eyes.
"Oh my gosh! The poor thing," another, smaller, man rushed forward to hold Heracles. The new man had blonde hair, and was that?...yes it was. To Gupta's shock he saw violet eyes similar to Ari's.
"Berwald, where do you think he came from?" the smaller man gently cradled Heracles close to him.
"Dunno Tino. Is anybody there?" Berwald shouted into the darkness.
"Oh dear, Sadiq will not be happy about this." Gupta whimpered, looking at the couple.
"Berwald, do you think he's an answer to our prayers to the gods?" Tino cradled the cooing baby closer to him.
"Hmm," Berwald walked closer and picked up the golden disk Heracles was wearing. "It says Heracles."
Gupta frowned as the couple began talking. No way could he go back to Sadiq and let the child live with the couple
but the kid was so cute. But Sadiq was scary.
Gupta decided, slowly his body began changing into an asp.
"But why Heracles and not Hercules?"
"Who knows." Berwald shrugged and let the disk fall back down.
Tino gasped as a giant black snake reared up in front of him. Berwald quickly shoved himself in front of Tino but as he did that Tino lost his hold on Heracles, who flew out of Tino's arms and right in front of the snake.
"Heracles!" Tino cried.
Heracles blearily looked up at the huge snake in front of him. He had been woken up from a great sleep, been forced to drink something nasty, and when he had finally found someplace warm to start napping again there was this black thing making a lot of annoying noise. Heracles had had enough. Suddenly he reached out and grabbed the snake, and pounded it on the ground.
Tino and Berwald watched shocked as Heracles pounded the asp senseless and suddenly, with inhuman strength, he pitched it over three hundred feet, straight into a tree.
A little ways away from Tino, Berwald, and giggling Heracles the bottle Gupta had given Heracles laid shattered and forgotten. But the smallest drop from the potion had been left, and as Tino and Berwald goggled at Heracles the drop gently rolled down a piece of glass and hit the ground with a hiss.
"Poor Heracles!" Alessia sniffed.
"You, like, mean poor Gupta!" Feliks sniffed and threw a strand of his blonde hair over his shoulder.
"Gupta didn't tell Sadiq that Heracles was still alive though." Vash quietly comforted his sister.
"Yea, who would have wanted to tell that psycho any bad news, aru." Yao said.
can we please move on with the story?
"You have, like, no patience!" Feliks snorted, but continued, "So Alfred was, like, heartbroken. He sent everyone out on a search. But by the time Heracles was found it was, like, too late. He was mortal . He still had amazing strength. But still Alfred and Arthur wept, for their son could never come home. They had to watch their precious Heracles grow up from afar. They could only be thankful that Heracles found a good family in Berwald and Tino." Feliks began to sniff like Alessia before he began bawling, "I-it's j-j-just so SAD!"
"And as Heracles grew, so did his strength. And um, his love for napping." Toris picked up where his friend left off.
"And so we join him years later, as a young man, and his start to his adventure," Vash now had two bawling people clinging on to him. Alessia he didn't mind, Feliks however he did.
"Heracles wake up!" Heracles blinked blearily as a tall figure came into focus.
Stretching, he looked at his father.
"Sorry dad, are we there yet?" Berwald scowled at his sons words.
"We've been here for ten minutes, and I spent nine of those minutes trying to wake you up!" Berwald snorted and turned around to unload the cart. Heracles slowly got up to help his dad unload the cart full of furniture and artwork. His father was a carpenter * and because Heracles was so strong his father could afford to keep making heavier pieces of furniture.
"Now Heracles," Berwald stared his son down, "stay by the cart this time, okay? It took me an hour to find out where you were sleeping last time and I want to get home to my wife as quick as possible." Berwald walked away, leaving Heracles slightly smiling as he thought about what his other father, Tino, would say if he heard Berwald calling him his 'wife'.
Heracles blinked as he felt a sudden pain on his head. Looking down his saw a metal disk, and looking around he saw three boys around his age running toward him.
"Hey, throw it ba-Heracles!" a fair haired boy came forward quickly and took the disk away from him. "Uh, thanks for picking it up! Bye!" The three boys ran away but not so quickly that Heracles didn't hear their voices.
"What a weirdo! I heard he was caught sleeping in a cave by the cliffs with a hundred cats curled around him."
"He took out my dad's shops wall last time he was here. He got mad at some kid and punched the wall, took out the entire thing and the wall was four feet thick!"
Laughing, all three boys quickly disappeared around the corner leaving a slightly steaming Heracles behind. It wasn't his fault the cave was nice, quiet, the perfect place for a nap, and cats just seem to like him! And as for the wall he punched out
he had apologized and rebuilt the wall! He should have punched the jerk who insulted his parents but he knew his parents would have only been disappointed in him if he did that.
Quietly Heracles began to stalk towards the direction the three boys had went, ready to do something to make them stop talking about him like that. But as Heracles walked he began to get sleepy.
Maybe I'll just rest here for a minute
Heracles fell against a pillar, exhausted beyond belief even though he had spent the hour ride to the market place sleeping.
Heracles jolted awake as an unpleasant cracking noise came from the pillar he had fallen against.
Heracles backed away, but he was too late. The pillar went down quickly, and it looked almost comical as it began a domino effect. Hitting pillar against pillar as the entire key holed shaped marketplace dropped collapsed to the ground.
"Dad, I'm sorry." Heracles looked down at the ground, he couldn't meet his father's eyes.
"It's okay son, you just don't know how to control your strength." Berwald spoke gently, or at least as gently as he could.
"Dad it's more than that! I feel like I
I feel like I just don't belong here."
Heracles glanced up, and then glanced back down. "It feels like a piece of me is missing and this is the wrong place for me to be. I'm sorry I know it doesn't make sense." Heracles walked away to the water near his family's home.
It was a beautiful sunset, and had been a perfect day. But to Heracles it felt bleak. A freak. That's what everyone called him. And maybe he was. He had never fit in with anyone. He wasn't brilliant smart even though he did love philosophy, he was too strong for sports, couldn't hold a tune to save his life, and because of his strength he couldn't go into the family trade because he broke everything.
"Maybe there's a far off place, where a hero's welcome is waiting for me." Heracles laughed softly. "And I feel like that is where I'm meant to be. If there is a place like that I'd go the distance to find it. I would face any harms, every mile would be worth my wile. I would go most anywhere to find out where I belong." *
Sighing softly Heracles picked himself out of the sand and made his way slowly back home. Looking up he froze as he saw his parents both looking at him from the doorway.
"Son," Berwald spoke, then sighed, "We need to talk."