Heaven Hath No Fury: XI-XII

XI.

“Pathetic,” Miho dropped, disgusted as she stepped over where Pavo laid on his back groaning.

Karno’s expression wasn’t triumphant, however, but abnormally stony given the Goddess of Corvus’ sweep into the picture.

“Why is it that in stories like this,” she sighed in exaggerated sorrow, “minions get thrashed so easily?”

“Would you like an answer to that, or are you just here for my stars?” Karno questioned flatly, stepping to the side as Mieke entered the other end of the room, effectively cutting off any route through which he might escape. “You have some gall coming here.”

“Gall is what it takes to rebuild your life after it’s been ripped from you, Karno,” Miho said, her eyes flashing with a dangerous darkness. “Gall is how you put yourself back together when all you ever held dear is taken away, when even your own body and mind are held captive.”

“What are you talking about?” Karno scowled, and some of Miho’s shadow brightened in surprise.

“You don’t know?”

“Miho, we shouldn’t linger,” Mieke pointed out, and Miho shook off Karno’s attempt to keep her longer than she needed to. “Others will come.”

“Yes, they will,” Karno agreed, but Miho didn’t seem to mind, stepping closer to him.

“Hush now and be still,” she told him sternly, worming her will into his, paralysing him so she could draw within arm’s reach. “At this point, it doesn’t matter who sees me,” she smiled, a slow spreading satisfaction. “I nearly have enough power to bring all this to a close.”

In Karno’s eyes his stars sparkled with the promise that Miho so desperately sought.

“Give them to me,” she demanded, and there was nothing Karno could do but obey.

“What the hell is keeping you so…” Leon began, bursting into the room as was his usual way of doing things.

Instantly Mieke barred her teeth, but Miho simply nudged Karno harmlessly away from her and peered at her brother who stood frozen in shock.

“Hi,” she smiled gently, but she could simply not mask the pleasure she gained from his expression.

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XII.

There was a hole, a really large hole in the living room wall of the gods’ mansion on Earth. Leon had put it there in a raging display of raw emotion that impressed even Krioff.

“So, it was Miho,” Zyglavis exhaled, his expression troubled, and he looked away from the group to the window.

“After what the King did to her, I’m not surprised,” Scorpio snorted, crossing his arms.

“You sympathise?” Krioff growled. “You’re a potato compared to your former self thanks to her.”

“I’m just saying I get it,” Scorpio fired back.

Meanwhile, Leon remained silent, staring at the damage he’d done.

He couldn’t quite decide which emotions were responsible for his loss of control – could he truly say it was anger? Could he be angry at the sister he so brutally betrayed? Was there anything he couldn’t excuse because of that?

Frustration then, that when the culprit stealing stars had been right before him and he had been rendered as impotent as if she’d taken his?

“We have to tell the King right?” Ichthys cringed. “I mean, I didn’t want to last time and I want to even less now but…”

“It would be the right thing to do,” Karno nodded soberly. “And perhaps the only chance we way of getting our stars back.”

“Why didn’t you stop her?” Krioff scowled at Leon, the turn of whose head, the narrowing of his eyes, was nothing short of menacing.

Zyglavis stepped in between them.

“Infighting won’t solve this,” he said evenly, though beneath his skin he was twisting, tensed, wound so tightly he thought he might break. “And whether we think Miho has a right to be angry does not excuse her own crimes. We take this to the King.”

For once, Leon had no voice to argue.

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XIII.

Miho closed her eyes and allowed the warm of Mieke’s hand in hers to fill her mind completely. It kept her grounded though they were a step away from their goal.

Surely they would be waiting for her now, they would confront her before she even reached the King, but that was okay – she wanted it.

 

Leon had lost all sense of time, Zyglavis also. They weren’t there to guard the King per se, though they had both seen the flash of uncertainty visit the until that time indomitable aura of the most powerful being they knew.

Or maybe he wasn’t anymore?

“I could make some witticism about welcoming committees,” Miho said, breaching the silence, “but I don’t want to unnecessarily add to the cliché count.”

“Miho,” Zyglavis began, “we understand why y…”

“I know you do,” she nodded slowly. “Just as I know you know it’s not enough.”

“You cannot disrupt the balance,” Leon frowned, the toss of his head sweeping his fringe to the side dramatically. “Even if you could depose the King, it would cause immense chaos in both the Heavens and on Earth.”

“Would it?” she posed, stepping closer to them with her partner, whose eyes darted between the two other gods. “With the King’s stars, I’ll have his power. What makes you think my Heaven would be worse than his? Am I more monstrous than the creature who has touted balance and yet done so much to so many that has jeopardised it? Did he not when he marked you with sin? And the others? Did that not throttle Heaven’s defences and allow the uprising of the Dark King?”

She had a point, they knew it, but…

“And, in his defence, are you not complicit in the crimes he continues to commit that threaten the lives and happiness of two worlds?” Miho continued, walking until she and Mieke were just out of reach.

“Rhetorical question,” she sniffed, her upper lip curling back in a sneer. “So now I offer you a choice. Move aside of your own will, or be made to kneel.”

ALTERNATE ENDINGS PENDING

 

Heaven Hath No Fury: VI – X

VI.

The King’s radiance seemed to flicker, and even if just for a fraction of a second, the assembled zodiac gods and the two mortals all saw something baffling in his expression.

Uncertainty.

This was the creature who claimed to know all, took great pleasure in fact, in reminding his subordinates frequently how lowly they were in comparison to his astounding power and omniscience – but now there he was having to mask why he knew nothing of the assaults against the former Goddess of Fate and the God of Scorpio.

“So not even you know,” Scorpio dropped, sounding disgusted.

“What does that mean?” Yuka whispered quietly at Leon’s side.

“Only one person has ever been able to dupe the King,” Partheno said sourly.

“The Dark King is dead,” the King declared, full confidence returned to him, and Leon nodded – after all, he’d been the one to do it.

“Yeah?” Scorpio sniffed, tipping his chin irritably. “Then who else did you piss off?”

“Long list,” Ichthys muttered under his breath.

“The perpetrator did not target me,” the King pointed out, but Scorpio remained defiant and confrontational.

“Maybe they should.”

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VII.

“Why didn’t you just kill the God of Scorpio?” Eridani asked, his tone tinged with disgust.

Miho, however, was unimpressed and unmoved.

“Do you want them to kill you?” Pavo sniffed, eyeing where Miho sat with Mieke’s head in her lap, idly sliding her fingers through the other woman’s hair.

“Do you want me, to kill you?” Miho enquired flippantly, leaning her head back a little before lolling it to the side in a languid gesture.

Both Pavo and Eridani shifted uneasily.

Like Mieke, in the end they had chosen to follow Miho rather than the Dark King, and as a result had survived. They knew she was powerful and only growing more so, and that for all her plotting and planning, her deep running rage made her unpredictably dangerous: even to them.

“When this is done,” Miho announced, answering the original question in her own, damned, time, “the Heavens will remain intact, and I may yet have need of powerful gods.”

Pavo scoffed.

“Scorpio? Powerful? He wasn’t even born a god.”

“Which made it all the more impressive he held the position he did,” Mieke sniffed as she lifted her head a little – then she smirked. “Past tense.”

______________________

VIII.

“You gave them once before,” Miho said sadly, not yet touching him. “You weakened yourself for a goddess who, even owing her mortal life to you, chose another lover.”

Huedhaut did not move, but watched her. Surprised as he was to see her, her reappearance, her line of conversation, made the culprit behind Yuka and Scorpio’s star-theft clear.

And now she’d come for him.

“And you know what the King did when your goddess’ precious humans were in peril?” Miho continued, drawing closer still. “Not a whole lot, and then he punished you for doing what you did for the one you loved.”

“I am not giving you my stars, Miho,” Huedhaut told her plainly.

“Don’t be like that,” she smiled, knowingly. “There must be a festering mire of vengeful anger bubbling away beneath that cool exterior.”

“Are you sure that isn’t just your reflection you see?” he posed, and Miho snapped, sweeping forward and lifting him from his feet.

Do not resist,” she hissed, her upper lip peeled back over her teeth, and though there was some initial defiance, Huedhaut’s body fell slack within a few seconds. “I thought you of all gods, would understand.”

“I understand,” Huedhaut croaked. “But I refuse to become a monster in order to defeat one.”

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IX.

The tree’s skeleton shattered as Miho’s body connected heavily with its trunk. Splintered, smouldering white shards fell with contrasting grace into the murky water that ultimately cushioned the goddess’ inelegant landing; Krioff glared balefully as Miho sat up.

“So it’s you,” he dropped, a caustic sound flaring with anger. “How could you? We were your friends once.”

“Once,” Miho growled as she dragged her sopping body up, hair sticking to her face. “You know what it’s like to be an outcast, Krioff. Well me too. Total. Abandonment.”

Even as she spoke, the flames encircling Krioff’s right hand grew, leaping from his skin in wrathful curls, but over its rumble and hiss a deeper growl sounded.

The monstrous grey hound pounced on the God of Destruction, knocking him down and clamping jaws around his blazing arm. Though momentarily the creature seemed to sizzle, a sudden shower doused the inferno, and though Krioff willed the flames forth once more, he found his power suppressed.

“I understand why you still struggle,” Miho exhaled, stepping up to the divine form of the Goddess of Canes Venatici who held Krioff down, placing a gentle, loving hand against her wet fur. “It’s why I, still struggle.”

______________________

X.

“You’re seriously going to make us cook for ourselves?” Krioff scowled at Leon.

“You were stupid enough to get your stars stolen,” Leon smirked haughtily.

“Why isn’t this water getting hotter?!” Scorpio shouted in frustration.

Hue, sitting in the corner of the kitchen, just calmly shook his head and returned to his book.

“Leon,” Krioff reasoned, which was something for him. “You didn’t hear Scorpio screaming at the potatoes the last time he tried to cook.”

“I will kill you!” Scorpio threatened… the pot of water sitting on the unlit gas stovetop, while Karno patiently tried to explain the igniter and the dangers of too much gas.

“What’s all the yelling?” Ichthys quipped, joining the growing melting pot.

“Clearly this is another example of the Punishments Department falling short,” Leon snickered, and Krioff really ruffled.

“Press this and turn that,” Karno explained, but even he was now shaking his head.

“Heh,” Ichthys grinned, discreetly clicking his fingers.

At a sudden rush of heat, both Karno and Scorpio jumped back from the stove, as the water in the saucepan bubbled and then exploded in flames.

Slowly, Hue lowered his book a little and raised an eyebrow.

“Scorpio burns water?”

“Punishments,” Leon snorted, extinguishing the flames in a snap and shooting an infuriating look of superiority at Scorpio. “I rest my case.”

Heaven Hath No Fury: I – V

I.

“Get off me, dog,” Zyglavis growled, even as Mieke’s teeth broke the surface at his throat, but before he could spit another rumbling insult, Miho had firmly taken his chin, pressing lacquered fingernails into his skin.

“That dog,” she hissed, right against his lips though her eyes blazed fiercely into his, “is a hundred thousand times more loyal than the likes of you.”

“You think I wanted this?” he coughed out, falling still – and he ceased struggling, despite the blood dribbling down his neck. “I loved you!”

I love her now,” Mieke snarled, snapping her teeth at his ear, but she paused when Miho straightened and stepped back.

“Tell me where I can find the King’s name,” Miho demanded, but she could not quite wipe the winded expression off her face.

“His name?” Zyglavis blinked, adding confusion to the mess of his emotions. “Why… why would something like that be in the archives?”

______________________

II.

Miho’s arm swung limply to the rhythm of Mieke’s hurried steps. Depleted, having used the very limit of her power to suppress Zgylavis’ memory of the goddesses’ incursion, she clung to consciousness. Perhaps if she’d kept all the defeated Dark King’s power for her own she might have made a more dignified escape – perhaps she could even have punished Zyglavis in the way he truly deserved to be punished.

As it was, his reward would have to be inflicted upon him another day.

“I can hear you thinking,” Mieke told her softly, as they slipped from the Heavens. “There will be another way.”

“Yes,” Miho hissed weakly. “There is.”

______________________

III.

“Has anyone ever told you, you have the most beautiful eyes, Yuka?” Miho smiled, the Planetarium lights flashing behind her.

The younger woman blushed, her body telling the tale of shyness and modesty, but Miho maintained her close proximity.

“Something sparkles, deep within them,” she continued softly, and though Yuka’s posture stiffened, she didn’t flinch away when the back of Miho’s fingers brushed against her cheek. “Something… I need.”

“Miho?” Yuko frowned in bewilderment.

“This won’t hurt you,” Miho whispered, leaning in, sliding her thumb to the girl’s lips, “but it will destroy my brother: your lover.”

“Leon?”

“I’m going to take the zodiacs apart,” Miho declared, reaching through Yuka’s skin, through flesh and beyond though she left no mark – reaching into what she had once been, “and I’m going to use your stars to do it.”

______________________

IV.

The moment Scorpio’s palm slid under Miho’s blouse and touched against the flesh of her abdomen, his eyes widened in shock. He might have recoiled, but Miho snatched his wrist and held him to her.

Suddenly he knew her.

“I want you to see,” she crooned, sliding her index finger down his cheek slowly.

“Get off me!” he snapped, attempting to shove her back, but he found her by far more powerful than he remembered.

“You owe him, I understand that,” Miho declared, her lips twisting toward a sneer, “but I also know you’ve seen and felt the monster lurking behind that bastard’s luminous smile.”

“Revenge?” he snapped, but he’d seen as much in her thoughts – all of them from start to finish.

And he could not deny the King deserved it.

“But you can’t,” he scowled. “If you do…”

“… the pain, stops,” Miho filled in dryly. “The twisted, arrogant superiority complex that drives him, and the belief because he can, he is entitled to… ends.”

Her hazel eyes narrowed on his and reached forth with invisible claws.

“And you, the mortal made god, the stars he gifted you, will help me tear him down.”

“Chaos will…” he began, but her fingertip to his lips silenced him.

“Shhh,” she whispered gently. “This won’t hurt, and you won’t even remember.”

MihoDhibiGoddess

V.

“How is this even possible?” Teorus questioned, a frown clinging to his pretty brow. “First Yuka, and now Scorpio?”

The aforementioned god, now effectively as powerless as a human once more, did not respond with his usual venom. He had no answer.

Yuka remained in Leon’s arms, arms flexed taught with anger though the young woman hadn’t really lost all that much in the grand scheme of her everyday life.

“Who would even dare?” he spat, glowering at Scorpio with sharp imperative. “Remember something.”

“Why don’t you ask your goldfish, you pathetic lion?” Scorpio retaliated, finally finding his tongue.

“Goldfish?” Leon repeated waspishly. “Look. Who’s. Talking.”

“Arguing like this isn’t going to solve this mystery, nor find the one responsible,” Zyglavis put in, ever the cool head.

“Maybe we should tell the King?” Ichthys offered, but he didn’t look as if he much liked the idea – probably because he was constantly getting into strife.

“Assuming he’s not responsible,” Dui put in.

“Would he really go that far?” Teorus frowned. “I mean he’s done some pretty dubious things but, Scorpio is like his favourite.”

“I wouldn’t put anything past that sadistic prick,” Scorpio grumbled, a statement much more like his usual self.