It's finally graduation night. What mischief and mayhem will our heroes get into?
PS: I also have fanart up at www.jennieman.deviantart.com if anyone would like to see what Terri and Lanta's grad dresses look like J
A New Twist
Chapter the Tenth
Jay awoke with a start and sighed. Sounded like Neil and Theresa were fighting over the bathroom. He glanced at his clock. Eight o'clock. Jay groaned and threw off his blankets, stomping down the stairs to confront (see: yell) at them. He growled in annoyance as he entered the bathroom, finding it half destroyed. Makeup and hair products, clothing and towels all littered the room, covering nearly every surface. Theresa and Neil stood facing each other, hands on their hips and glaring.
"What is going on?" Jay demanded. They turned to look at him, pointing to each other.
"I need the bathroom! I have to get ready!" they both shouted. Jay sighed and scratched his head sleepily.
"All right, now, one at a time. Why do you need to get ready so early? The dance doesn't start until six," he stifled a yawn. Theresa huffed.
"I need the bathroom so I can get cleaned up, go wake Atlanta and get her ready in time to go to our hair appointment at ten," she explained haughtily, tapping her foot impatiently. Jay nodded and yawned.
"Neil, let her and Atlanta have the bathroom. You can have it all to yourself while they're gone," he grumbled and turned to go back to bed. Neil whined as Theresa smirked smugly and pushed him out, locking the door behind him. Jay shook his head. Too damn early to be seeing Theresa in that nightgown. Though...Archie's going to be seeing her in it every morning......Bastard.
Theresa hummed happily as she took a quick shower, excitement bubbling in her stomach. She giggled as she remembered the look on Jay's face when Archie asked her to the dance. Serves him right. Really, if he was interested, he should have asked. But now it's too late, and I can't be bothered with him anymore. I wonder how Archie will look tonight.
She giggled again as she barged into Atlanta's room and flopped down on the bed, earning a groan from the jumble of blankets huddled at the end of the bed. Theresa rolled her eyes and grabbed the pillow from the ground, smacking her friend soundly over the head.
"Time to get up Lanta. Go get cleaned up and I'll make us a quick breakfast before we go get our hair done," Theresa smiled as Atlanta sat up, hair ruffled and eyes half closed. She yawned and rubbed her eyes, stumbling out of bed. Theresa shook her head and went to get dressed before heading down to the kitchen to make breakfast. She smiled as she noticed Archie shuffling from the fridge to the table, yawning loudly. He glared at her groggily as she bounced into the room and ruffled his hair.
"Good morning Archie! How come you're up so early?" she chirped happily as she got out the egg carton. Archie sulked into his glass of milk as he sat watching her from the table.
"Neil whines too loudly. No thanks to you," he huffed. Theresa pouted at him and held up a pan.
"Aww, I'm sorry I woke you, but you know how Neil can be. I'll make you breakfast?" she offered. He raised a suspicious eyebrow at her.
"You know how to cook?" he asked dubiously. She pouted at him crossly.
"Yes. Do you want some or not? I'm making scrambled," she turned back to the stove. Archie gazed at her for a minute as she cracked eggs, hearing them sizzling in the pan. He stood and shuffled over to her.
"Yeah, please. I'll make some toast," he offered, grabbing the bread. Theresa flashed him a smile and they stood together quietly making breakfast. This was the scene Atlanta entered into and she paused, wrinkling her nose in confusion as she watched them silently passing plates back and forth, getting the meal together. She slowly sat at the table, a small smile on her face.
"Well aren't you two just oh so domesticate," she smirked as Theresa placed a plate in front of her, sitting with a smile. She stuck her tongue out at Atlanta as Archie simply shovelled food into his mouth.
"Yes, we're the picture of domesticity. Smart ass. Hurry up and eat so we can go to our 'torture session' as you so eloquently put it," Theresa grinned. Atlanta scowled and ate quickly. Damn. Can't I do my own hair? It's not like I have a whole lot of it like Theresa does. What does she think they'll be able to do?
And so they soon left for the hair salon, Atlanta grumbling all the way, just as the other boys began filing into the kitchen. Herry gave Archie a forlorn look as he began cleaning up.
"You guys ate breakfast without me?" he asked. Archie snorted derisively.
"Like I'm gonna cook for you. I'd be here for hours. Don't worry, there's still food in the house. I'm going for a run," he announced abruptly and left to get changed. Neil grabbed a small cup of yogurt and also turned to leave the kitchen.
"And I'll be in the bathroom getting ready," he announced with a sniff towards Jay, and haughtily made his way upstairs. The rest of them groaned as Archie sped past them, the front door slamming behind him.
"Great. So as soon as he's done, the girls will be back to take over," Odie grumbled. "If that's the case, I think I might hole up in my room till we leave, just to avoid the storm."
"Good thinking," Jay agreed with a sigh. He could only hope they would survive the night. /And that Cronus won't decide to wreak havoc on us. The girls just have to be wearing dresses don't they...Well duh, what the hell else would they wear?!...Still...it's a liability. We'll have to keep an eye out for them, if something does happen. /He shook his head and went into the living room to watch television with Herry, determined to try and relax in the calm before the storm.
Archie sighed as he ran through the park, the wind feeling good on his face. He smiled, glad he'd gotten out of the house when he did. Now if only he could time it right and stay out long enough to avoid the chaos that is two and a half girls getting ready for grad. Archie grinned as he reached the beach, running swiftly down the boardwalk. He was excited to see what Theresa would look like, he admitted to himself. And what her reaction to him would be like. Heh. I hope she likes it. I won't look like a pansy-ass, fancy and refined 'gentleman', like I'm sure Jay will, but I think I'll still look damn good. Hell, I'll look even better! Damn right. Jay's gonna be jealous once he sees her. 'Cuz you know she's gonna look so friggin hot. Damn right!
If people looked startled when Archie ran by, cackling madly, he didn't notice it, too caught up in his own delusional mind. He envisioned himself and Theresa looking like movie stars, cameras flashing wildly, while Jay wept on the sidelines, cursing himself for letting her go. Too bad Jay. You let her go. And I ain't giving her back.
Two hours later, completely sweat soaked and exhausted, Archie returned to the brownstone and was greeted with somewhat controlled chaos. He could hear stomping from the second floor as the girls and Neil ran between bathroom and bedrooms. Theresa and Neil were talking loudly, though he didn't think they were arguing, while Atlanta was definitely cross with the both of them. Jay and Herry were calmly watching a movie and Odie was nowhere to be found. Archie shrugged and took off his shirts, tossing them into his room before returning to the living room and flopping down on the couch. There was no way he was getting a shower just yet, so he may as well watch the movie while he waited.
An hour passed with no end to the noise above them. The credits were rolling when footsteps sounded on the stairs and Theresa peeked into the room, rolling her eyes at the three boys. She smiled and stepped shyly into the room, hands behind her back. They all glanced up, greeting her indifferently. She bit her lip nervously and stood in front of Archie. He looked up at her, eyebrow raised. She shifted from foot to foot and abruptly thrust a box toward him. He gave her a surprised look and slowly accepted the box.
"What's this?" he asked. Theresa simply smiled and gestured at it.
"Open it and find out," she said impishly. Her heart hammered nervously in her chest as he opened it. Archie blinked down at the object in his hands.
"Theresa, how...what...?" he asked in disbelief as he removed a brace from the box, this one a steely gray. Theresa shifted again.
"Remember, we were talking on the beach? I thought, you might like this. I had Hephaestus make it. It's super light, but extra strong and it won't rust," she explained, twining her fingers together, face flushed red as she felt Herry and Jay watching them. Archie looked up at her incredulously, amazed and touched that she had done this for him. He grinned weakly up at her. Oh hell yeah, I'm never letting her go.
"Thanks Theresa. That...that really means a lot," he smiled, trailing his hands over the thin plating. He set it down carefully and hurriedly took off his old one as Theresa perched on the couch arm. Carefully, his foot slid into the new brace, surprised at how smooth and comfortable it felt. It encased his heel and half his foot, going part way up his shin. Tightening it till it was snug, he flexed his ankle and stood, placing all of his weight onto it.
"Well? How does it feel?" Theresa asked anxiously.
"Feels great!" Archie cried and moved to walk across the room. He stumbled though as his foot went swinging out, and fell against his partner. "Whoa! Ooops, sorry!"
"It's alright. Like I said, it's really light," Theresa giggled and helped him stand. "Might take a bit to adjust your gait to it."
"Yeah, yeah, of course. But oh man. This is awesome! Thank you Terri," Archie grinned and pulled her against him in a crushing hug. She blushed at the feel of his bare skin against her, the light musky scent of him, and quickly gave him a friendly pat on the back.
"You're welcome. I'm just glad you like it. But I've gotta finish getting ready, so I'll see you boys in a little while," she smiled and left to return upstairs. Archie continued walking across the room, slower this time, trying to get used to the new sensation. Herry grinned at him and even Jay seemed happy for him.
"Hey man, love the new gear, but you're making it hard to watch TV. Sit your ass back down, you can flaunt that later," Herry grinned good-naturedly and threw a cushion at him. Archie threw it back, but sat with a smug grin and propped his foot on the table so he could admire Theresa's gift. A heavier set of footsteps came down the stairs minutes later and Neil entered, observing them.
"Why aren't you guys getting ready? Archie, have you even showered yet?!" he cried, exasperated. They looked at each other, and him, and shrugged. Neil huffed and dragged Archie out of the room as forcefully as he could without really touching him. "Honestly Archie, we need to get you ready. Get showered and then bring your clothes to my room to get ready."
"Huh? Why? I think I know how to dress myself," Archie gave Neil a wry look as he was shoved into the bathroom. Neil 'tsked' at him and shook his head, hands on hips.
"Because. I have to make sure that you look presentable at least. We're the only ones with dates, and I refuse to have my picture taken with somebody who looks like a hobo," Neil sniffed and left, Archie glaring after him. But, he decided, it would be easier to just give in to Neil's demands, at least for today. Besides, he didn't want to disappoint Theresa because he messed up, especially after her super thoughtful gift. He quickly showered and grabbed his belongings, presenting them to Neil, who laid them out on the bed in mild surprise.
"Wow Archie. I'm...impressed. I think we can actually make you look pretty good," he hummed in approval. Archie snorted and shook his head.
"Thanks Neil. Can I get dressed now?" he asked plaintively. Neil shook his head and pushed him towards the vanity.
"Nope. Hair first. Now, how should we do it..."
And so, the torture of Archie began. The other men in the house shuddered as they heard him yelling obscenities while the girls shared an evil look. Another hour later and the boys were all gathered in the living room, waiting for the girls while Athena insisted on taking an infinite number of pictures. Much grumbling filled the room, broken by a sudden clomping on the stairs.
"Hey, you guys ready?!" Atlanta shouted down the stairs. A chorus of "YES!" hit her as she stepped into the room and she stepped back, scowling at them. "Well you don't have to yell!!"
They all mumbled their apologies as they stared at her, barely recognizing the girl before them. She scowled again and crossed her arms protectively across her chest.
"What are you guys staring at? I don't look that bad do I?" she huffed nervously, tentatively running a hand over her dress and hair. She wore a strapless black dress with white polka dots. A teal band of fabric wrapped around beneath her bust, tied up in a large bow on her back. The bottom of the dress fluffed out at the knees with matching teal lace underneath it, and a pair of small black kitten heels adorned her feet. Her hair lay against her shoulders in large, loose curls, bangs held back by a black headband. Theresa hadn't overdone her makeup, for which Atlanta was thoroughly grateful, but she was still stunning with the faint, iridescent powder shimmering on her cheeks. She flushed and shifted uncomfortably.
"You look absolutely beautiful Atlanta," Neil reassured her, flashing her a wink. "Trust me, I should know. Is Theresa ready yet?"
Atlanta seemed to relax instantly and rolled her eyes at him with a smile. Light clipping came down the stairwell.
"Yeah she's ready. But if you think I look good, you might wanna sit down," she smirked, seemingly directly at Archie, and moved to stand next to Neil, watching as Theresa entered distractedly, putting one last earring in.
"I'm sorry I took so long you guys," she looked up to be greeted with stunned gazes. If Archie's breath had hitched at the sight of Atlanta, it was completely lost once he glimpsed Theresa. He stared, pole axed for a moment before regaining his senses, and snatched off his top hat in a rare show of respect. Theresa smiled as she ran her gaze over her date. He wore a tuxedo, as did all the boys, but his was...unique. A top hat was complemented by tails, gloves and a silver tipped cane. Neil had flattened his hair down and part of it flopped in front of his face, while the rest was slicked back, as Neil had done completely to his own hair. Archie gulped and twisted his hat as Theresa flushed under his open gaze.
She wore a long, floor length gown in the most perfect shade of gold. A slit on one side revealed smooth skin up to mid thigh. Much like the dress Persephone had given her, the gathering of the material cupped her breasts, modestly accentuating her curves. A train flowed slightly behind her. But it was her hair that was perhaps the most striking. It was done up in a braided twist, small curls escaping at her nape, while atop her head sat a small headpiece made of gold filigree. A single pearl lay against her forehead as the strands wound back into her hair.
"Well? How do I look?" her voice interrupted Archie's reverie and he had to clear his throat to speak.
"Beautiful," he murmured, earning another pretty flush from the redhead. He suddenly remembered something. "Oh! We almost forgot, Neil and I got something for you girls."
The girls gave each other curious glances as Archie went to retrieve something from the fridge. He came back to reveal a pair of corsages for them: a white camellia for Atlanta and a tiger lily for Theresa. Theresa giggled as Atlanta turned bight red while Neil slipped the flower onto her wrist, Archie doing the same for her.
"Aren't you kids sweet? Come on, let me take some pictures of the couples first and then the whole group," Athena held up her camera with a grin. Archie slipped his hat back on and held his cane in his left hand while slipping his right around Theresa's back. He pulled back slightly, startled as he felt bare skin. Peeking behind her, Theresa grinned as his jaw dropped. The dress dipped extremely low, leaving her back completely bare all the way down. He swallowed thickly and gently placed his hand on the small of her back, firmly setting his jaw back in place as she laid a hand on his chest, her body moving into his. Holy goddamn! Is she trying to kill me? Damn it Theresa. So...damn...gorgeous.
Archie could feel his body instantly reacting, and a bead of sweat rolled down his neck as Athena finished taking her pictures. He fervently hoped nobody, especially Theresa, would notice. She tilted her head up to look at him, chin resting on his chest as she smiled softly, eyes glittering mysteriously. He held her gaze for a scant moment before it overwhelmed him and he broke away, clearing his throat awkwardly. She needs to stop being so...psychic-y and all-knowing.
Theresa giggled at his obvious discomfort with her dress and looped her am though his, tugging him out the door. Archie sighed as they led the way out, hearing exclamations from the other boys over the nonexistent back of his date's dress. He swore he could feel Jay's eyes burning into the back of his head, and sighed. It was going to be a long night.
He and Neil helped the girls into Herry's truck and they were soon on their way to the downtown hotel their dance was being hosted at. Apparently since money wasn't an issue, the gods had spared no expense. Archie felt his jaw drop again as they pulled up to the hotel. /It's like the red carpet, or the Russian ballet... /Theresa giggled beside him.
"Stunned are we?" she teased as he flushed, jaw snapping shut. He glanced at her with a smirk.
"Yeah, well, I guess you're kinda used to this kind of thing, huh? A little mundane for you, even?" he teased back. Her eyes softened and she gave a small, somewhat bitter smile, turning her head to glance out the window.
"I suppose you're right," she agreed with a sigh as Herry pulled up to the curb. Archie frowned as he got out, going around to the other side to help Theresa down onto the sidewalk. /I didn't mean to upset her...Geez...Way to go genius. Shut the hell up. /He sighed and jumped as he heard squealing behind him. Two of Atlanta and Theresa's team-mates from field hockey rushed up to them as Neil, Odie and Jay got out of the truck.
"Wow look at you guys! You clean up nice. Rowr," Midge laughed as Neil preened for a moment. "But enough about you, we wanna see the girls. Nice cane Archie."
Atlanta snorted as she put her feet down on the runners and stood, wobbly, to get out of the truck. She opened her mouth to comment when her foot twisted out from beneath her and she pitched forward. She shut her eyes tightly, bracing for a harsh impact with the ground when suddenly a strong pair of arms grabbed her, one arm sliding beneath her knees and she was quickly spun around. She opened her eyes tentatively, one at a time and looked up at Neil. He huffed down at her.
"Geez Atlanta. Be careful, you could have broken your leg! And I'd like to have a date to dance with, thank you very much," he informed her haughtily. Midge and Stacy glanced at each other and tried to hold back their laughter as he gently set Atlanta down, holding her while she got steadied. Her face matched her hair by that point.
"Aww, Lanta, you look so good! I can't believe Theresa got you into a dress," Stacy exclaimed as Atlanta nervously fidgeted with said dress. Archie smiled and handed Neil his cane, shoving him out of the way so he could help Theresa down. She smiled at him as she stood, his hands automatically going to her waist, her small hands gripping his shoulders as he lifted her down, spinning to place her securely on the walk. Theresa blushed as she brushed against him, Midge and Stacy oohing in the background. She gracefully arranged her dress as Archie took back his cane, Herry pulling away to park the truck.
"Whoa Theresa. I'm sorry girl, but you look far too good to be here. Hello Hollywood!" Midge teased. Stacy shook her head.
"Forget Hollywood, hello Paris!!" she grinned and nudged Archie in the ribs. "And just how did you ever manage to score such a fine looking date?"
Archie smirked as her gaze flickered to Jay for a moment, then to Atlanta and Neil before settling back on him. He shrugged and slipped his arm about Theresa's waist, hand resting on her hip. He gave her a squeeze and grinned as she flushed.
"Guess I'm just lucky is all," he said self-deprecatingly. Theresa grinned and looked at her friends with mock shock.
"Well now really girls, look at how handsome he is. Who wouldn't want to be his date?" she giggled, running a hand down his chest. She could see his cheeks turning the faintest pink. Two can play that game.
Archie sighed in relief as Herry returned and they moved into the hotel. Stacy and Midge elected to escort Odie into the ballroom, one on each arm fawning over him, much to his embarrassed pleasure. Atlanta held onto Neil for dear life, being rather suspicious of the shoes that just tried to kill her. Archie gave Theresa an over exaggerated bow and held out his arm. She smiled and calmly placed her arm atop of his, posture perfect and head held high as they entered the ballroom. Archie felt a wave of pride surge through him as envious glances and excited whispers were sent their way. That's right, she's here with me. And going home with us. That too! Hey, wait-not like that! No? No! Damn.
Theresa flushed and giggled again as Archie pulled her chair out for her. She sat and looked over her shoulder at him, a twinkle in her eyes. He gave her a cocky grin and sat next to her, leaning his cane against the table and whipping his hat off. Theresa leaned toward him, pressing into his side. Her breath was hot against his neck and he shivered as her lips brushed his ear.
"You look very handsome tonight Archie. And thank you for the corsage," she whispered to him. He flushed and fidgeted in his seat.
"No problem," he muttered, scowling as she pulled away with another giggle and Atlanta flashed him a wink. Goddamn, can she possibly giggle anymore tonight? Girls...and what's with Lanta? Winking at me...Subtlety thy name is not Atlanta. Maybe we shouldn't be subtle tonight then. Let's make Jay see red. Heh, excellent idea. Let's do it.
Archie blinked as the lights dimmed and Theresa slipped her hand into his, settling back in her chair as the principal made his speech. Archie, naturally, ignored the speech in favour of focussing on his date. And how small her hand really was, and soft too, despite the calluses he could feel. She even smelled soft. He wasn't sure what the scent was, not being her usual lavender, but it suited her still. Soft, but a little spicy....or maybe musky?
He leaned towards her more, gently moving her hand into his other one as he laid his right arm over the back of her chair. Theresa smiled gently at him, moving into his embrace. She was glad he had liked her gift, and that Jay had looked extremely jealous when she took Archie's arm. Tonight, I'm not even going to think about Jay. Tonight is just about having fun with Archie.
The speech ended finally and dinner was brought out. It passed by quickly and loudly as they all cheerfully celebrated, laughing and talking about nothing for once. They teased Herry for the monumental stack of plates in front of him; Neil for checking his teeth in the mirror every five minutes; Jay who had his PMR in his pocket. IT was a good night.
Archie stretched and groaned as the DJ took the stage, starting up the music as multicoloured lights flashed over the dance floor. He gave Theresa a pleading look.
"Do we really have to dance?" he whined. She pouted at him.
"Of course we do. That's the whole point of going to a grad dance," she rolled her eyes with a smile. Archie grinned and shrugged as she stood and tugged on his hand.
"It was worth a try," he sighed dramatically, sharing a long-suffering look with Atlanta as their dates dragged them onto the dance floor. Theresa laughed as Cascada began playing, and grabbed Atlanta's hand, twirling her around. Atlanta shook her head, but laughed and starting dancing with her anyways. Archie laughed as Theresa wrapped her arms around Atlanta, singing along to the song. He was glad to see them goofing around without a care in the world. Now if only Jay could relax and stop sending nervous glances towards all the exits every five seconds...but at least he was on the dance floor. Maybe some girl could come and distract him for a little while, get him to loosen up. Archie blinked as Theresa pressed up against him, her body moving wickedly against his. Speaking of girls...
He grinned smugly down at his partner, slipping his arm around her waist, fingers teasing the bare skin at the small of her back. He bit back a groan at the feel of her body pressing into him, the smell of her perfume and just her, the way she was biting her lip...The beat of the music pulsed through the room, settling heavy in their veins, minds lost to the heady warmth that encased them.
Atlanta shrieked and smacked Neil's chest as he pulled her toward him, spinning them around in a poor attempt at salsa. She laughed as he demanded she remove her heels, claiming they were 'wasted on her'. She wholeheartedly agreed and flung them off to the side. Neil smirked down at her and switched them to a tango, arms out and cheeks smushed together. And all Atlanta could do was laugh as she realized this was the most fun she'd had in awhile.
Neil couldn't wipe the stupid grin off his face. He was glad Atlanta had decided to be his date. Sure, she was no supermodel, but she was spunky, and cute, and fun, and his friend. Now partner. And he wanted to prove that he could be a good partner to her. Make her happy. Become better friends. He'd never had friends like this before -real friends- and he would try his damnedest for them. For Atlanta. Because she deserved that much, at least.
Neil sighed as the DJ announces the last song of the night, a slow song. He half turned to leave the dance floor, glancing a Atlanta. She looked up at him, head tilted to the side. She shrugged and gestured to the floor, slightly uncertain. The corner of Neil's lips tugged upward, and he shrugged back, turning to face her as he took her hand. /Why the hell not/, they both thought.
Theresa sighed, gasping for breath as the last song came on, and she turned to leave. A hand at her elbow stopped her, and she gave Archie a quizzical look as he pulled her back, arms going around her waist. He shrugged and smirked down at her. She tilted her head to the side and laughed softly, swaying with him. She spied Neil with Atlanta, her feet on top of his as they smirked at each other, and smiled gently, resting her head on Archie's chest.
Jay had stepped off the floor, along with Herry and Odie, and stood with them, watching their friends. Jealousy surged through him as Archie tucked Theresa under his chin, holding her close as they swayed. That should have been him, not Archie. Archie was supposed to be with Atlanta, not Theresa. He never even really got along or hung out with Theresa! She was supposed to be his!
He ducked his head and took a deep breath as the angry thoughts swirled in his mind. You were the one who never made a move. The one that let her go. She never knew how you felt either, because you're too cowardly to tell her. And what good would it do now? What good would it do anyways, until Cronus is gone, and we can just be teenagers again? Jay shook his head. A hand clapping down on his shoulder startled him, and he looked up to see Herry watching him, understanding in his eyes. Jay offered him a weak smile and nodded as the lights turned on, and the ballroom cleared out. The night was over.
"So, what do we do now?" Herry asked as they piled into his truck. "The night's still young after all."
"How bout we go to the beach? Herry's right, we can't go home just yet," Odie suggested.
"Not that we'll even be going home really. Everything changes after tonight," Atlanta added as they drove to the beach. Theresa glanced over at her usually upbeat friend, such a comment never expected from her. She glanced out the window at the almost full moon and smiled.
"Things change every day. Why should tomorrow be any different?" she mused as they pulled up to a deserted section of beach. Atlanta blinked, then laughed as they jumped, bare foot, out of the truck.
"I suppose you have a very valid point Terri. So what about tomorrow. We'll still be together, and Cronus will still be out there," she grinned and ran down to the water. Theresa followed at a slower pace, Archie trailing behind her. Stepping into the cool water, she gazed once more at the moon, wondering herself at all that would happen come the morn.
"She's right," Archie murmured softly, stepping tentatively behind her, resting his hands on her shoulders. "Everything changes. But nothing really does. Whatever happens, whatever becomes of us, I will always be your partner. At your side, ready to protect you Theresa. I promise."
She tilted her head back till she could see him, smiling ever so softly up at him, eyes shimmering. Her hand reached up to cup his cheek.
"I know Archie. I know."
As the hope inside the young leader died a little more watching them, a sinister grin grew on the face of an elder god gazing into his seeing pool. A perfect finger delicately traced the killing edge of a scythe as he turned from the pool.
"Have your peace for now children. There will be Time enough for me to destroy you yet, however hard and long you train. We shall meet again, someday soon, my granddaughter. And then, you shall be mine." Cronus walked away from the image of a smiling, serene Theresa, malicious laughter echoing in the cave as the shadows themselves shuddered and shrank away.