"He has a name, now, Mommy."
"... I'm sorry, sweetheart. What?"
Aphrodite straightened her shoulders, stared down at the little girl beside her. Her little green-haired girl, in her ruffled dress and scabby elbows and one very floppy alligator tucked tightly beneath her arms. She lowered her eyes, blinked them a few times and waited in quiet expectancy and bidded patience.
"... Oh. Your doll." Aphrodite smiled, and though she was young, the tired creases tapered her eyelids, wore her down like weights. Still, she was perfect (as a goddess was expected to be), and her daughter Verity was no exception. A flower bud, with the glow of immortality and the passionate intensity of a fleeting life. Together they were like spirits, ghosts in the meadow. But alone.
She scooped Verity thoughtfully into her lap, resting her chin on the crook of her shoulder. Her eyes settled onto the stuffed green alligator, a rather peculiar toy Verity seemed entirely fixated on. Several moments had passed until Verity nodded, adjusted it.
"... Brian," Aphrodite repeated the foreign name, the tone of her voice misgiving no dubious wonder. "That is a... nice name." Uncertainty.
"I heard it today," Verity spoke completely level, unendingly intelligent, but never obvious of any true emotion. "A lady and man were fighting," the girl started, "she told him 'Get the hell of my house, Brian, or I swear to god I'm going to castrate you and move back to my mother's.'" Her nails clicked against one of the alligator's glass eyes, and a tickled laugh escaped her lips in a whisper. "I liked the name."
"Ah, then it is a lovely name." Kids. Aphrodite took to stroking her hair, closing her eyes, letting the sun warm her back and legs. It was a nice quiet; not something the goddess was really used to, because she thrived on excitement. But still... nice.
"Daddy will like him, don't you think?" Verity questioned, interrupting her mother's peace with no ill intent, but the question shuddered the woman's heart and caused her eyes to water and flare open. Aphrodite forced back her smile-- against she shifted the girl against her breast and forced down lumps in her throat. Two violet eyes were staring her down, wide and curious and so unbearably fragile, the woman nearly couldn't take it. She chewed on her lip, darted her gaze to the grass.
"Baby, we've... been through this. Daddy... Daddy isn't here. He can't see Brian." What words could she say? Which ones?
"Oh." It was a simple reply, as if Verity had only forgotten, no harm done. She pressed her hands together for a moment, before nestling against Aphrodite, furling her little fingers into the fabric of her dress. "I'm tired."
"Yes, darling. Sleep a while."
And so the child did, as her mother fought back the taste of salt and held her thoughts stiffly forward; her mind eventually wandered to a rose, mesmerized and both pained by the color. It was some time she sat in silence before a hand upon her shoulder caused her to startle. She whipped her head back, but did not stir Verity, for anything.
"I didn't mean to scare you."
"You're too quiet, Betra." Aphrodite pouted up at the man, closed one eye against him as if in rejection. Betra laughed and raised his arms up in helpless surrender, but he looked to Verity, the muscles in his face relaxing.
"... She's beautiful, Aphro."
"Yes, well." She took the hand perched upon her shoulder and clutched it tightly, humming gently in her throat. "Though her mother is /quite/ beautiful... she has her father's looks." His breath was low against the nape of her neck, and she closed her eyes, eagerly, missing him.
"And she has a friend," the man continued, between his kisses and the squeeze of her arm. She sighed, pressing herself into him, surrendering to him, trusting nothing but him. And as she did this, Betra whispered that he loved her, hated to leave her, and she replied that she loved him in return. With their bodies simply pressed into one another, Aphrodite lost herself, that ghost lingering in the meadow without much regard or purpose. Their spirits intertwined like light, or something ethereal. She was just... light. With the man she loved, with the perfect daughter asleep against her. For the first time in what felt like eternity, the goddess of love overflowed with it until she felt numb.
Immortals were not known to dream, but Betra's touch and voice against her ear again was the closest thing Aphrodite had ever come to such a thing. She slept peacefully with Verity on the sun-filled earth.
Secret Santa for
lols I'm totally sick of this now but HAY BONUS WORDVOMIT just for my darling daughter <3 I would've written more but alas, time constraints.
HOPE YOU LIKE <3 <3
Aphrodite (c) Heeer ;D
Verity (c) uuus ;D