the search of the downstairs room started pretty much how the search upstairs began, pressing against the floor while Meenah and Cronus phased into the walls and back out. By the time you had searched the entire area of the floor space, most of which was moving furniture since the room was packed with it, your attention had gone upwards. You stared at the family painting for a long moment before turning to Meenah just as she came out of a section of wall
“Meenah, is that painting attached to the wall?” she shrugged and went over to it, with a little nudging her hand slid behind it
“nah, it’s just chillin” you turned towards Cronus
“can you and Meenah move that?” Meenah scoffed and started pulling, the painting slowly dragging until Cronus grabbed the other side and pushed, the large painting moving alot faster with the combined effort, they moved the painting to another section of the wall, the wall looked solid behind were the painting had been, but you still reached forward and knocked on the wall, Meenah even phased through it, it was solid all the way through. Meenah sighed and leaned against a bookcase, you stared at the bookcase, when Meenah caught your line of sight and scowled
“what are you starin at” she snapped at you
“the bookcases, can they be moved?”
her expression relaxed when she realized you weren’t staring at her and at the bookcase, she nudged at it with her hand
“prolly, it don’t look like it’s in the wall” you stepped forward and starting collecting the books on the shelf in small piles and placing them in neat stacks on the floor
“kanny, what are you doin” Cronus asked you, standing to the side watching you make another small neat pile
“It will be easier to move the book shelves if there's no books on them” Meenah snorted and phased her arm into the wall behind the case, swung her arm forward and you and Cronus stared in respective horror and bemusement as the bookcase wobbled, then shot forward and hit the floor so hard it flipped again, knocking over your piles of books and smashing into the desk against the opposite wall. Dust billowed up in massive clouds that made you cough, Cronus was still laughing and high fiving Meenah.
“that was awesome” she commented, poking at the not shattered side of the solid wood bookcase with her boot
“right...okay, well that’s one..way to do it.” you said, stepping on and over the bookcase to inspect the wall, it seemed solid enough, you knocked and pressed on it once more before frowning
“it’s not behind this wall, I guess we’ll just have to check behind the-” you were cut off by the crashing sound of another bookshelf flying across the room, you turned to see Meenah standing proudly were a bookshelf was just seconds ago, and were the bookshelf now laid broken against the other side of the room.
“how do you even do that?” you asked, throwing your hands into the air
“I work out” she smiled and both of your heads turned to Cronus, who had begun quietly singing
“girl look at that body, girl look at that body, ah, i work….” he caught the gaze of both your stares and he instantly looked away and mumbled the last word to the line, rubbing at the back of his neck
“I would laugh, but we are supposed to be finding a corpse” you said, and Cronus walked over to the new opening and phased into the wall, it was at least a good ten minutes before Cronus resurfaced
you asked him and he just shook his head, you decided not press the matter
“right, next book-” you were once again cut off by a flying shelf
“Meenah, you don’t have to do that for all of them you know” you commented looking at the last two standing shelves with pity
“bullshit i don’t” she gave a laugh that more resembled a cackle as she phased into the wall backwards, so the last thing visible as she disspeared was a double thumbs up. She reappred a few seconds later, not out of the section she dissapeared in, but rather against the next book case, the bottom of the bookcase dragged against the floor as Meenah was still pressed against the back panel as it skittered and smashed hard against the wall, fragments exploding from the front frame where it connected, one hit the wall by where you were standing and thumped onto the floor, a ripping sound had every head turning towards the painting of the family, a shard had landed directly into Cronus’s fathers forehead.
“Bullseye!” Meenah yelled, fist pumping the air
“I got skills” she high fived herself and did a small victory dance
“Meenah, rude” Cronus said but he was smiling too
“Meenah, was that really necessary?” you asked
“hell yeah, plus my body wasn’t there”
“okay last bookcase”
“can I do it?” Cronus asked walking to the side of the last standing bookcase
“sure” Meenah said as you and her both moved out of the path of the bookcase
Cronus phased into the wall and with a loud yell he came out of the wall, the bookcase flying forward from where he appeared. Cronus laughed as he watched the bookcase smash into the pile up going on in the middle of the room and topple onto the others, like a topper on a cake. Cronus just stared at the bookcase wreckage with a dopey grin on his face
“you’re right, that was awesome, i now see why you break things in the house Nah” Meenah stared at him
“well yeah, why else would i break things” she punctuated her sentence with a swift kick to to the top bookcase that made a split appear from top to bottom.
“why do you call her nah anyway?” you asked, finally having curiosity for the nickname
“because no one wants to hang out with her, it’s like ayye do you wanna hang out? pfft, nah” and Cronus earned a punch in the arm for that
“it’s just shortened of my name is all” she shrugged and turned back to Cronus, who was rubbing at his arm
“was I in there?”
“”what? oh yeah, you’re in there” the two of them entered the wall and collected Meenah’s bones, pulling them back into the room where you were. She stared at them for a second before clapping her hands together loudly.
“well shit y’all i guess it’s my turn to tell a story”
“so there I was, fightin this huge arse dragon on this big ass flying ship” Meenah started, waving her hands around
“nah” Cronus said, Crossing his arms over his chest and taking a seat on top of the ruined bookshelves, you settled yourself on a lower shelf and waited for the real version of her story
“okay, but the boat part was true, Me, you and good old uncle boat for brains were out on the lake, remember the lake Rosa took us to when we were little? that lake, we were on this stupid speedboat that uncle had gotten” she sighed and lowered herself so she was on the floor, leaning against the wall, one leg tucked against her chest, her hands became preoccupied with her braids
“we made it out towards the islands in the middle, it was really hot that day, and i remember you were telling me a story about how that guy you liked had eaten forty hotdogs at school that day” Cronus smiled slightly
“I remember that” Meenah smiled back and continue with her story
“i leaned over the boats edge, not enough to fall or anyfin because i’m not the best swimma, but enough to reach the water, it was cool to dip your hand in while the boat was going, and then i felt a pair of hands on my shoulders, and the next thing i know, I’m in the water, sinking, sinking and i’m trying to figure out what happened, and i start trying to kick” Meenah has begin to undo the ends of her braids, her black hair in tight waves from where it came out of the braid
“the thing about being underwater like that, is the further down you sink, the more everything seems calm, the light starts to fade out, you can’t hear anything, it's just you and the water, i would say it could almost being relaxing, but then your lungs start to burn, and your eyes start to burn, and every muscle you got starts to burn, and it’s painful, you open your mouth to try and get air, anything you can get, and you watch the bubbles, your lifeline, float out of you and above you while you feel the water flood your lungs” she wasn’t looking at either of you know, and had now switched to undoing the other braid as she talked
“it’s scary, but at the same time you don't’ got time to be scared, i guess i oughta be thankful, in a twisted kind of way, that who eva pushed me” her eyes darted to The painting of Cronus’s father
“pulled my body from the lake, and brought me back and hid me here” she had both braids undone, and she pulled all of her hair to the side as she stood, Meenah had always been a badass or kind of a bitch, but in that moment Meenah looked young, and you remembered that she was just a dead teenager, and that had to forty different shades of terrifying.
“bein dead sucks an all, but hauntin at home with y’all was a shore lot beta than hauntin the bottom of a lake” she laughed softly and picked up the box containing the swordfish toy, she held against her chest and smiled at you and Cronus
“well, i guess if they didn’t i would be swiimin with the fishes” and then she was gone, You and Cronus stared at the spot where she had been standing, Cronus broke the silence first with shaky laugh, you looked at him to find him laughing more steadily as tears ran down his face
“that was beautiful” he smiled at where she had disappeared and wiped at the tears.
“Kanny, Can we go take another nap?” Cronus asked, you agreed and climbed over the bookshelf tower to as Cronus phased through it, he met you at the door, neither of you crossed the threshold at first, Cronus turned and stared into the room
“Goodbye Meenah” he whispered, and shut the door behind the both of you. you walked up the stairs behind Cronus, when you reached the hole in the stairs, he picked you up and floated over it
“Bye Feferi” he whispered into your sweater as he floated over the hole, he set you down and you continued up the stairs. Making it to the main floor you heard Cronus whisper another goodbye in the direction of the ballroom. the two of you comped up the stairs and into Cronus’s room, the bed still messy from the nap earlier with Meenah. You toed off your shoes and slid under the covers, Cronus following suit, he crawled under the blankets and snuggled into them, and then he snuggled against you, his arm wrapped around your waist, you ended up on your back with Cronus laying on your chest. It was for the most part comfortable, and it became more relaxing as Cronus drifted to sleep, you whispered goodbyes too, you whispered Goodbye into the dark of the room and your blinking slowed and you finally gave into to the pull of sleep.