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[personal profile] magdalyna
Title: Horned Deities and other True Myths.
Betas: [ profile] jadziadrgnrdr & [ profile] i_amthecosmos
Rating: PG 13
Pairing: Pete/Patrick; minor Pete/Jaenea, Pete/Ashlee
Word Count: 5,205
Disclaimer: I am making this up. Please don't mock on MySpace. Googling yourself is bad, so just listen to Mikeyway already.
AN/Warning: Creepy themes if you squint or have issues with Greek mythology. I have been writing this since the start of time [ profile] formerlydf wrote her wonderful fic Time and Time Again (and Again, and Again). This would make sense without reading that fic, but I highly encourage it.


After the 647,815th time Artemis rants about deforestation and Apollo loyally gives statistics, he decides to reincarnate. Apollo even manages to roll his eyes when Pan tells him. But Apollo has always been, if not a cheerful rival, a good friend. He gave Artemis her first hunting dog, taught Apollo the art of prophecy. Ties that bind, and all that. They agree to help him.

Mortals are more fun now anyway. They have things like television and electronic music and sugary carbonated beverages. And peanut butter. Pan is fond of the small amounts he tried when Apollo brought some back from his rare treks down Olympus.

Through Apollo, Pan meets Buddha.

Buddha isn’t much of a partier, which is why Pan barely knows him, but is still pretty interesting.

Buddha doesn’t seem surprised that a Greek demigod would go to him to get reincarnated, like it must happen all the time. It probably does.

Buddha just gives him a lotus flower and some pomegranate seeds to munch on, sends Pan on his way with an enigmatic smile.


Pete really does have Pan’s gift for music, but that talent doesn’t necessarily translate to modernity well. This is why the electronic bass thwarts him. He didn’t even learn about how to play instruments humans made by themselves until after the Italian renaissance.


When he was 14, his parents shipped him off to boot camp.

He was angsty and acting out in typical and not so typical ways, having vivid dreams of bonfires and dances and things he’d never even seen before. His parents couldn’t cope with skipping school and his sleepless nights. He couldn’t either.

It sucks getting beaten up during the day, but the nights are his.

Then half way through it, he has the weirdest out of body experience/acid trip he’s ever had. He doesn’t even do acid.

One minute he’s in his bunk, counting the swirls in the wood grain while everyone snores around him, the next, he’s out of the cabin completely.

Dionysus is there in a clearing in the woods and so are some nymphs and satyrs. Pete can actually tell the difference, which is something that never happened before when he would look at glossy pictures in books older than him in this one run down library back home. Dionysus is a given, he’s familiar. Too familiar.

Pete feels oddly awkward, unsure of his footing, like having legs is some new adventure for him.

There’s dancing and some things that his mom and dad would be pissed he’s seeing, hearing, doing.

And then Dionysus gives him a leather, cracked flask to drink from, except it doesn’t have a drink in it. Little stars, flitters of light explode from the gourd, into his mouth, eyes, head.

The force of it shakes him to the ground, Dionysus watching with warmth in his eyes.

Memories float to him in this vague haze and he understands now. He was once Pan, protector of the herds, ravisher of nubile young things hoofed and not, keeper of rustic music and revelry, bringer of favor and miracles.

And then one day he was very, very bored.

The haze wears off and Dy hoists him to his feet. Softly, Dy tells him “That should give you your powers back.” for which Pete is thankful. Grinning, he booms to the assembled crowd “Let’s see if the Woodland Prince still has it in him for a party!” and then things really start to pick up.


Pete wakes up with a crick in his neck and a small wooden and string lyre in perfect condition placed on his stomach.

He hides it almost guiltily in his bag, cradling the knowledge that it’s all real close to him.

Pete goes back to his parents at the end of the ‘camp’ appropriately subdued and contrite enough to pass parental inspection.

Then he throws himself into the Chicago music scene and doesn’t look back.


Before, Pete had hated to practice at something that wasn’t soccer, getting bored quickly. But he wanted to try out his newly rediscovered skills. They seemed like they were worth the extra effort of sweat and boredom.

Joe is one of the first people to make him laugh about it, although he doesn’t get the joke. Joe is an easy friend, doesn’t mind driving them around all the time. He’s a good kid.


Pete can gather a crowd like no one’s business. He can get scene kids too cool for pits, metal kids too hardcore for the scene, edge kids too edge to go to shows where the booze is flowing but the beat is hypnotizing, all of them, he can get them pumped and dancing and shouting and screaming right back at him.

He’s just doing what comes naturally, because learning new tricks isn’t really his style. Isn’t Pan’s style, and maybe that’s the same thing. Pete doesn’t really care. It’s not important now.

Sometimes, when he’s whipping the crowds from bored scenesters into a seething mass of sweating, dancing revelers, his eyes flash momentarily. It only happens at first when he’s just learning how to control it and he can pass it off as the lights if need be.

But this part time drummer Arma has, Andy, sees it one time when he’s side stage and the other drummer is there playing.

Andy was one of the first people in the scene that Pete met, and Pete likes him the most.

They had an awkward conversation about the glowing eyes and the kids only once, which Pete thinks went rather well in that Andy didn’t bring it up again and still thinks Pete is human. Andy looks at him oddly sometimes, but will still play with him. Pete counts this as a win.


Pete’s really bored sitting in this kid’s basement, but Joe had insisted.

He’s singing and stops when he realizes that the kid - Patrick - was signing backup. Not just singing, but singing amazingly.

Pete had wondered for a brief second if some kind of siren or nymph or even a god of some degree had decided to reincarnate as well after he left.

But then Patrick froze like a deer in the headlights when Pete and Joe turned around to watch, cheeks turning beet red. Pure awkward humanity was shinning from his young eyes.

It’s then that Pete realizes that Patrick is raw talent, untouched by corporate America.

It’s then that Pete realizes that Joe is a genius and they’ve just found their lead singer.


“Do you believe in life after death?” he asks, wondering. Hoping.

Patrick stops going over his scales. “In what context?” he asks in a puzzled tone.

“Onstage!” a tech shouts at them as their opening band files past them.

The conversation doesn’t really pick up after that.


Mages aren’t the only ones who can invoke sacred beings.

Pete wonders if he’s doing this right, wonders if vaguely remembering how the vast multitude of magicians summoned him down all those times before can actually mimic the real thing.

The hotel room around him starts to fade to a hazy off-white color.

Buddha looks at him, placid expression as always.

“I was contemplating the myriad forms of enlightenment. I hope you are well, Pan?” he says evenly. If it were anyone else, Pete would swear the tone was annoyed.

Pete wonders why they do that. Apollo and Dy call him that as well whenever he talks with them. That’s not him now, even if he was at some point.

“Could you explain to me how this reincarnation thing works?” he asks bluntly. No use wasting both their time then.

Buddha observes dust particles swirling together in the slight breeze or whatever the hell he’s looking at.

“In patience do we learn to enjoy life’s pleasant qualities. But I suppose that is not what you want to hear. As it be. When your mortal thread is cut by the Fates, you will return to your godly compatriots on Olympus, free to return to patronage of shepherds and plain music.” he answers, probably fully aware of how crushed Pete is.

Pete sighs.

A glimmer of understanding sparkles in Buddha’s eyes.

“You have found a mortal with whom you wish to spend eternity. My sympathies. Though it was my understanding that you were not the monogamous type.” Buddha sounds genuinely sad for Pete. It’s then that Pete remembers that Buddha is one of the nicest guys he knows. He’s supposed to sound sad for a friend who’s being very stupid, chasing after mortality and canes with a long since balding Patrick like a kicked puppy.

It doesn’t do anything good for Pete’s state of mind.

“Is there a way to make a mortal not so mortal? Surely there have to be precedents!” Pete tries.

“You will have to ask one of your fellow gods. The rules governing differing pantheons function differently on these matters. Your wanting to play at mortality was another matter. You had simply to suppress your immortality. Humans are bound to it though enlightened ones may transcend the physical plane altogether.” Buddha explains.

Pete feels time shifting, can tell that this conversation will be over by the time he blinks.

He wakes up in the same shitty hotel room, dazed and crushed.

Joe comes in carrying Chinese takeout. Joe’s a great kid, enthusiastic, full of creativity and talent. Joe also knows how to handle Pete’s black moods. Chinese and crappy reruns of cartoons they’ve seen since they were kids always does the trick.

“Great show tonight, yeah?” Joe tries, testing the water.

Joe would have been a great satyr. Pete grins his affirmation.


Jeanae is all brash spitfire and cocky grins on a petite frame. Dynamic. Manic. Perfect for him.

He fills like a dirty old man whenever they spend time together making out or talking about music or political theory. Honestly, that’s half the appeal, this reminder of what it’s like to be older than his equally supernatural partners. She also knows Pete, not Pete Wentz, so he feels more real around her. He misses what that feels like sometimes, when he’s trying to figure out who’s the real him.

This facet of their relationship is put to exacting use by her whenever they have verbal knockdown drag out fights. But he’s always been able to dish as well as he takes. Pete sometimes wonders if that’s a trait he and Pan, this other him share.

When he gets too maudlin he rightly thinks that he’s just the pale imitation of the real thing.

He’s not really surprised when he and Jeanae end once, start again, then end for good.


Andy is unsure but Pete gets him to listen to Patrick on a shitty recording. Andy looks like Nirvana has rained down upon his ears and his body is waiting for his brain to realize it’s dead from the bliss.

When it’s done, Andy looks vaguely shell shocked. “You say this is a shitty version of his voice?” Andy grits out and Pete knows he’s won.

Andy will make noises about how he has other bands, how he has other tours, how he’s not sure he wants to commit to Pete, to this idea of a new band, but Pete knows he’s won.

What’s more, if Andy, of all the real, dedicated musicians that Pete knows, is impressed then Pete knows that Patrick is really special. He lets himself relax.


Patrick apparently thinks that he isn’t that great of a singer, is better on drums. Pete is slowly, (oh so slowly) working to dissuade him from that notion.

Pete is slowly coming to realize that Patrick is awesome in more ways than one.

When he referenced Elvis Costello and a defunct record label from the 70s in one sentence and Hall & Oats in the next, Pete realized he might be smitten with this boy with a fondness for trucker hats and argyle.

“But you just can’t try and top Miles Davis…” Patrick is saying. No, Pete is actually smitten. Really and truly.


“I think we live our lives, for whatever reasons, having whatever impact we do, and then we don’t came back after we die. What’s with the existential questions so randomly, Pete?” Patrick tells him softly.

“No reason. Just curious.” Pete says smoothly. He doesn’t think about anything in particular, in case Patrick can suddenly read his mind.


He rarely remembers his sleeping dreams. His waking dreams, fits of fancy and day dreams about ‘maybes’, stringing idle words together by the way their sounds fit, those he remembers just fine. On the rare nights when he does sleep, he goes out like a fashion trend. But this morning he does.

He’s in a rocky mossy tunnel on the bank of a sludgy river. He thinks he sees Patrick on the other side, but he’s not sure. It’s too dark, too far away to tell. He can make out people shaped forms submerged in the river, going along with the break-neck current, blurring their features. A gnarled old man with a hefty coin purse on his belt ambles over to him.

“Got a coin to spare, son?” yellow teeth glint unnaturally as the man speaks.

Pete knows instinctively he shouldn’t give the man a penny.

The man surveys him, measuring him against a standard Pete can’t hope to comprehend.

“You always were a wily sort. Senses sharp as ever, no account to what the others say, not that I have time to socialize.” Charon muses. Never had the inclination to either, from what Pan can remember. Pan. Pete. Same difference. Still irritating.

“I need to strike a bargain.” Pete finally gets the nerve to speak. He was never one to venture into Hades. Too depressing for him.

“Hmm. ’Course you do. They always do. But you are no closer to death than I, so clear is your immortality to me. So a beloved mortal, is it then.” Charon eyes him speculatively.

Pete kind of hates that Charon states it, not asks it.

“I want to make a human a satyr, and still have it so they keep their memories.”

Charon’s jaw goes slack, eyes glinting.

Pete is silent. Charon starts laughing a deep boisterous laugh that doesn’t fit his frame.

Pete waits until Charon recovers.

“I’m serious.” he says slightly irritated. He doesn’t even care that this bit of gossip will spread from the lowest brook to the highest peak of Olympus when he leaves. He’s used to it anyway, both of him. Charon mingles when it suits him.

“I know you are. Always full of exciting surprises, you are.” Charon answers, the picture of amusement.


“Ask the Bride of Hades. She has a soft spot for such unnaturalness.”

Pete wakes with the taste of pomegranate slick on his tongue, Hemmy sprawled out over his chest. He lies in his bed stroking his dog and cursing his terminal boredom.


Patrick looks at the battered notebook with defeat.

“Is this even in English?” he asks, and his tone is vaguely injured.

He can sometimes remember Greek, the old kind of Greek, when the world was still new. He sometimes has flashes of crude signposts and fresh scrolls. Like blackouts in reverse. Pete momentarily is terrified, but then glances at the open page, in perfect chicken scratch American English.

So no, the notebook of his words isn’t in ancient Greek. He has a vague horror that one day he’ll slip and expect people to be able to read something he wrote in Greek anyway.

“Why wouldn’t it be in English, Trick?” Pete tries for humor a few moments too late.

They’re still hammering out the creative process, running into roadblocks of their own making. Its old hat by now. Pete’s not sure if they’ll ever get it worked out.

Patrick glares daggers at him.

Pete still has bruises from the last time Patrick looked like that, but he gives as well as he gets. Patrick’s still sore from when Pete disagreed with him the other last time.

Patrick closes his eyes for a second and then walks out of the room.

Pete has a feeling he’s lost this round.


This kid, Ryan, vaguely stalks his livejournal, hangs out on the bands’ fan made communities. Ryan’s witty, insightful, and looks good in skinny girl jeans and not much else.

But one day he posts a link to a PureVolume page to a recent entry Pete made about some random thing or another.

And that’s when Pete really takes an interest in this screwed up scene kid who’s read Palahniuk too often.


The thing is, even with having the ‘I can’t believe it’s not LSD!’ dream when he was 14 and met Dy again, he doesn’t get all of his old memories back. He remembers basic things, events here and there.

The memories he does have come to him randomly without rhyme or reason. They don’t go in order either. The memory of Syrinx came before the one of Echo did, for example.


One of his old memories isn’t about love interests gone awry or friendly competitions between his fellow gods. He gets it as it happens again. Sort of.

(The speaker looks faint, like he’s not sure if this is real.

“You came,” he says, a little awed.

Pan quirks a smile. “You called,” he says. He has little else to do these days.

Brendon. The one talking is Brendon. “You came,” he says, still a little shell-shocked.

Pete grins. “You linked,” he says, and with a raised eyebrow gestures for them to get on with it. He knows how this should go.

He shares a glance with Ryan, and they launch right in.

(“So,” Pan begins, turning thoughtful, “what is it that you want from me, mortals?” There are so many things they could be asking of him.

One of the pair speaks up. “What more could we ask than the favor of the great god Pan?” he asks, bowing, arm sweeping out and a grin beginning to creep up his face.

The other gasps, as if his partner has gone too far, but Pan is amused. “Others have asked much more,” he says, smiling back. “Much more.” Pan likes their spirit.

“What can I say?” the speaker asks, shrugging. “We prefer not to presume like that.”

“So,” Pete asks slowly, “what precisely were you hoping for here?”

Brendon seems to gain some confidence at this. “What more could we ask than the favor of the inestimable Pete Wentz?” he says wonderingly, bowing with a flourish.

Ryan makes a choking noise next to him and Pete has to laugh at the double vision he gets just looking, hearing this exchange happen again.

“Well,” Pete says, and he's sobering up. He’s here for a reason. “Other people have asked for a lot more.”

“I like to think we're pretty low-maintenance,” Brendon informs him, nodding, and Pete grins again.

(“You have my favor, small humans,” Pan says, laughing. “And I'll give you something else, as well. You'll know it later.”)

“You've definitely got my favor,” Pete tells them around a grin. “We'll see about that record contract, too.”

Pete likes their guts, maybe likes Ryan too. He definitely wants to hear more of their music.


Ashlee is someone to have fun with, and she has a calming influence on him. It’s the most stable relationship he’s ever been in. She makes them talk about their relationship. That’s very new for him. He likes her jokes, her way of looking at the world. He enjoys the way she takes her coffee, simple cream and sugar, no frothy whipped cream that’s more suiting to ice cream than liquid caffeine. They way she understands the wear and tear of touring, even if she’s not as active.

It’s different. It’s not someone who’s known him since before the fall of Rome or when he was 23 or when he was this close to keeping his dreads. Different doesn’t have to be bad.


“I can’t believe you would let this kind of thing out into the world.” Nick sounds amazed at the brightly patterned fabric.

Clan is moving up in the world, has all kinds of good reception coming its way.

“You don’t have to wear it, Nicky.” Pete reminds him.

“But the 15 year olds who read your blogspots will.” Nick teases.

Pete throws his dirty socks at Nick. And then they have a truncated food fight when they run out of things to throw at each other within reaching distance.

Nick would have been a pretty faun.


“I need to know something, please. Anything.” Pete doesn’t like begging, but it will have to do. He’s weak like this, almost human. He hates it. It’s perfect and frail and fleeting.

“You’re going to travel to distant lands, with your adopted brethren. You will do this as a way to alert mortals to a tragedy. It will be a trial, Pan.” Apollo tells him, eyeing him with vague interest.

Pete’s … not sure what that means. “That’s not what I meant. Will –”

“Our time together lessens, Pan. If you wanted specifics, then you should have said something. I must go soon, as Hades is causing a stir.” Apollo says with agitation in his glowing eyes.

Pete wakes up with sweat drenching him. He briefly wonders if he can do anything to help with whatever Hades is doing. Then he remembers he’s just a human now. He couldn’t help his friends even if he wanted to.


Uganda is unlike anything he’s ever experienced. Apollo was right. It was a trial, of sorts.

Patrick is amazing about it, they all are, Joe and Andy. They came back with their convictions burning brighter. They amaze Pete with their sincerity, their drive.

They’re what Pete will miss the most when he inevitably has to go back. He’ll miss all his friends.


“There has to be a way. Please, Iron Queen.” Pete asks plaintively.

“You would have us rework what the Fates have decided, Pan? So that your lust for this human … youth could be sated long after it would be appropriate? So that your friendships could flourish when their bodies should be moldering and their souls mine by rights? Be glad my Hades is not here to witness such a miserable request.” She looks at him disapprovingly. Her throne of cold stone looks daunting.

“But you should hear his voice, my cold Queen. It would warm your soul. It’s just so beautiful. It is like the sunlight, all through your bones and heart. Apollo himself must have gifted it to this boy upon birth. I can’t be parted with him. Any of them. They wouldn’t have to be anything other than satyrs or fauns or nymphs. Surely that is within your power? Please.” By the end of this Pete is quiet and needy, wrecked. Tears slide down his face but he doesn’t care.

Persephone is regal and testy, looking down at him on her throne. Her ancient and clear green eyes soften fractionally. “Sunlight. I remember that fondly, of anything that I miss. I have heard all about your stories, Pan. Condemned mortals and jittery demigods alike love to gossip about the lively members above. They always told me such bawdy tales about you and some frantic, poor nymph, how you’d stalk after them until the next pretty thing caught your eye, leaving them to ruin and despair. You were a fickle cad. Why should I trust the tale you’re spinning to me? You tell me his voice is like sunlight. It is a fond memory, but I also remember how the sun can burn the skin and the heart. So why is he worth it, this horrific bending of the cosmic rules?” the Iron Queen says, like a knife through butter.

Pete marvels at this. “You have to hear him. He … he completes me. Please.” He tries again.

She flicks her wrist, and a bubble of spider’s webbing forms in front of them. It’s of one of their recent concerts. She watches it with interest. Her eyes narrow in concentration.

They watch as Patrick sings while Pete curls into him playing to him. They watch as Joe twirls around them and Andy keeps them all steady.

The bubble bursts when the song is over. Her head is tilted to the side in thought. “I shall mediate on your predicament, Pan. Leave me now.” She decrees as she shoos him away.

Pete is getting really tired of waking up in sweaty terror. He hates the taste of pomegranate now.


“If you were going to do something, I think you should do it now.” Andy says, gazing at him steadily.

Pete blinks at him.

“What are you talking about?” Pete has no idea what is going on.

“What do you think I’m talking about?” Andy seems to think otherwise.

“You could be talking about a lot of things. Give me a clue.” Pete gets snippy.

“Your eyes. And Patrick. That’s all you get, Pete.” Andy would be grinning maniacally if he were anyone else.

Joe’s hanging out with Patrick, since he’s dealing with a breakup. Andy’s next on the schedule they made. Patrick hates being alone when he’s feeling crappy.

Pete has a sudden sinking feeling about glowing eyes and questions never asked. Andy just goes back to reading National Geographic.


“It will cost you dearly, for all that you request. More than what I think you would be willing to give.” She says it evenly.

“What is the price the Fates are willing to demand?” Pete asks.

She wordlessly holds the clear jar up into the light. Its contents are purple and red, like blood and violets. Her smile is not cruel, exactly, but it is not pleasant either.

“Memory is such a fragile thing for mortals. It can be tenacious like a mollusk on a rock or slip out like the tides, never to return. Your mortals would be forever in your company, in new forms, suited to their personality. All that is required by the Fates is their memories of their human lives. Are you willing to have your friends pay this price? Are you that desperate, Pan?” she queries him calmly, as if she already knows his answer.

Pete never did have good impulse control.

His mouth tastes like pomegranates and misery. His eyes are caked with sleep and sweat.


“MTV sucks so much. Like, really. It’s the DirtDevil of music channels.” Joe snips, reaching for the bag of Fritos on the kitchen counter.

“Which is why I want to change it from the inside out. Wouldn’t that be awesome?” Pete insists.

“Pipedream.” Patrick coughs, grinning beatifically. His hat frames his face better today than most.

“I believe in you, Pete.” Andy smiles smugly at him. Pete knows he does, though.

“And I call you three my brothers.” Pete quips.

“You love us. Couldn’t live without us.” Joe says, rolling his eyes, licks at the salt of his snack on his fingers.

That is actually the root of Pete’s problems.

In their own way, they each help to complete him.

Andy grounds him, keeps them all steady. Joe believes in him, in then band. Patrick creates with him, so perfectly. They fit him like puzzle pieces.

He was whole as Pan, he knows vaguely, but it’s too far for Pete to see and feel clearly. It’s an offhand kind of knowledge. He should have been whole as Pan, anyway. He was messed up as a young kid, that is clear as day but somehow he was lucky enough to find them, have them in his life. Have them want him in their lives.

Pete knows he doesn’t deserve them.


“So Ashlee picked up this juice yesterday at this really hippie health food store. It’s pomegranate and its fuckin’ delicious. I want you all to try some. This brand is local, even. It’s full of antioxidants and shit.” The lie rolls smoothly off his tongue and all Pete can do is hope. Even though they broke up, Ashlee is still his friend and he likes that they can do that.

Andy watches his eyes closely, tracking his movements silently. Joe just shrugs. Patrick rolls his eyes in amusement. “Sure, pour us some. If it’s nasty I’ll be pissed though.” Patrick says, looking at Andy and Joe.

Pete pours four glasses of it, a dark cherry color of tart liquid. He’s used to the taste by now. It’s usually accompanied by his bed being covered in sweat and misery clinging to the air. But like this, surrounded by his friends in the warm light of day, its nice. Andy shakes his head and drains the glass in one big gulp, just like Pete. Joe and Patrick sip it, testing the flavor but both finish it. Pete pretends the odd clenching in his stomach is because he drank so much of it in one sitting. He pretends it doesn’t feel like guilt.


“Take a chance on us, Trick.” He says this softly, shyly even, and then kisses Patrick, hoping. He’s always been hoping when it came to Patrick.

Patrick makes a surprised sound in his throat but leans into it.

When it ends so they can breathe, Pete smiles ear to ear. “You’re the only one for me. You’re stuck with me now.” He says seriously.

“I know. I don’t care. I knew since before I could vote. You can’t scare me away now.” Patrick says, all blustery confidence and slow smiles.

Pete kisses him again, this time with much more tongue and groping.


This is a new and disturbing theme for his sucky dreams.

The grass is prickly under his touch. He’s missed his hind legs, the delicate but resilient tufts of fur all under his navel, on his calves, joints. Walking feels normal now, since he regained his center of balance. He’s sitting on a nicely sized rock, watching everyone, gently plucking stalks of grass up and ripping them idly.

Joe is a satyr, along with Matt and Andy. They’re seated together talking animatedly. He’s too far away to hear what they’re saying but he smiles anyway.

Nick is a faun and Patrick is a centaur and they’re sitting closer to the brook nearby, dipping their hooves into the cool water.

Apollo shimmers into existence in front of him. “Good to see you again my friend. Do you miss them not remembering why they have such odd names?” Apollo asks curiously.

He shakes his head. “They haven’t said anything about it. They mostly just make music and gossip, hold contests to see who can run the fastest, or joke together. Like they were before, anyway. They please the shepherds we meet, with their music. But none are as pleased until they’ve heard mine. We are, most importantly, happy.” He says.

Apollo nods pleasantly. “That is good to hear. I’m glad you are pleased with how this turned out.”

“Patrick has thought of the most wonderful way to play my lyre. I’ll show you.” He says easily.

He wakes with a start. The grass under him is scratchy.

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And that has made all the difference.

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