Mireia hated thunderstorms. They always seemed to target her, with its raucous thunder that shook her windows and its blinding light that created a split second of complete vulnerability. This storm was ostentatiously after her, always worsening when she had to walk outside and threatening to break every umbrella she had (and she had many). It was the worst at night.
Alone in her room, Mireia flinched and lost her breath with every combination of bright light and deafening roar. Her roommate and their mutual friend were lovers of the storm and found her moping off-putting, so she found herself without her usual distractions. Leaving her to brave the terror alone was going about as well as expected. As the hours dragged on, her fear and desperation began to manifest into something new: anger. “That’s it, I’ve had it with this damn storm!” Hopping down from her bed, Mireia marched to the window and threw it open, sticking her head into the heavy rain. “Would you STOP it already?! It’s been a WEEK!”
Her answer was a darkly amused rumbling in the clouds, and the heavy smacking of raindrops on her head. Already soaked, Mireia was resolved to stay and force the storm to cease or lose a night of sleep trying. “Stop it! Take this somewhere else for Christ’s sake!” The storm wouldn’t obey, so she kept at it, shrieking, digging her nails into the windowsill. With every press of rain and thunder, she would bare her teeth and yell back, even if her knees would also tremble. “Damn you, who do you think you are? Not even Julius Caesar was this much of an ass!” Far too stressed to think about what she was saying (or even doing) at this point, Mireia pounded her fist on the windowsill, wet hair slapping her face.
Something about her ridiculous shouting seemed to kick in though, in that after naming the weather it swiftly lightened up. The rain no longer pelted Mireia’s skin painfully, the thunder no longer bellowed at her but rumbled softly, like a malicious purr. Mireia sagged onto her knees, suddenly registering how cold and shaky she was. “Finally, you jerk...now lemme sleep,” she muttered bitterly, energy seeping out of every pore. She was so out of it that the odd sensation of burning and carving didn’t fully register. It was just as well that they didn’t because she would have been powerless to fight it, much less the visitor in her room. He studied her wet face and found it most beautiful in its simplicity. Outwardly she wasn’t much, especially compared to the literal deities he knew, but her spirit was massive, hiding greatness that he wanted to harness. It was hectic and wild, just his kind of chaos, but eager, just waiting to be harnessed and trained.
When he decided to take a handmaiden, he’d initially been quite disappointed in the lack of options. Granted, he was one of the pickiest gods around, but nobody even minorly promising had been bothered by his presence. Except for this woman, who had the audacity to curse at him every day of his storm, and then tonight. The gumption of her built desire in him and solidified his choice. And now, she laid passed out before him, a blank canvas for his mark. Eying her ankle, he nodded and focused his magic there. Immediately, the carving took and settled, causing hardly a flinch from her physically or from her soul, making room for him quite happily.
He, involuntarily, did flinch when a breath of flame rushed from her mouth. Immortality manifests in different ways, but of all the ways, it had to be his least favorite. The girl began to heavily shiver, and he noticed that rain was still falling on her from the window. With a quick flick of his hand, he dissipated the storm as if it never existed. She still shivered, most likely adjusting to him and the very permanent change of energies. He picked her up to place in her bed and found her clinging tightly to his shirt. He rose an eyebrow, silently laughing at her. It had been too long since he’d been so much as grazed by a fingertip, much less clung to. He tried to put her down, but she let out a soft whine and clung tighter, pressing her cheek to his chest. “Oh, don’t tempt me already, little handmaiden,” he teased into her hair, inhaling the mixed scents of rain and wet skin. She huffed at him and finally let go, rolling over to curl on top of her covers.
Now it was back to staring at his choice. He stood at the edge of her bed, watching her sleep and steam rise from her face and hair, steadily drying her. Another side-effect, he noted that he would need to quickly establish control over that fire. The door opened with no warning and a startled pair of women interrupted him. “Julius! What’re you doing?” The first of the pair, immediately on edge, frowned at him. Julius grinned.
“Willow, how nice to see you again. You taking a handmaiden inspired me to do the same, and here she is,” he gestured to Mireia.
Willow’s frown deepened, pulling her own handmaiden closer to her. “I don’t approve. Mireia’s completely unaware of how things are, and she has enough trauma as it is,” she countered.
Julius spread a slow, softer smile on his face, one more challenging. “I need no approval from an empowered handmaiden, nor anyone else. Who I’ve chosen is of no concern to you. It’s irreversible, besides.” Out of amusement and spite, he gathered Mireia back into his arms and slid into bed with her, cradling her to his chest.
She let out a low, pleased sigh and relaxed, seeming to find a perfect fit in his arms. Willow glared at the pair, affronted and suspicious, but ultimately powerless. “Try not to ruin her. Despite what you think, Mira is my concern.” She led her handmaiden to bed and tried in vain to ignore the fellow God and innocent friend curled up together. Julius simply slipped into rest, sealing his possession and interest. Mireia shifted about behind him, completely unaware of what she unlocked unto herself.