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When They Knew

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When humans think about the concept of gods, they think only of what can be done for them. The way the crops grow, the sun shines, the rain falls. They think of blessings and fertility and countless other requests. But do they ever wonder what the gods want? Does it ever occur to you… that we’re just… not… interested.


Millenia. That’s how long I’ve lived. Being the god of monsters isn’t easy. I mean, I have other jobs but this is the one I get the most ‘work’ from. And no one asks for monsters, do they? No. No, you ungrateful little shits want me to take them away and destroy them! You pray to me for me to destroy my beautiful children!

My only consolation is the fear that I feed off of when you sleep. The nightmares my monsters leave in your minds.

Like ambrosia wine, the fear of children is better than anything else   you hairless monkeys have on that rock and I want nothing more than to lick it from your very skin…


But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you!


Every generation, some less-than-completely-useless old guy remembers that I’m not up here for my fucking health and decides that I need to be thanked ‘properly’. Or at least, they used to.


They tried doves. Doves…! I heard at least one god one likes them but, I’m far from impressed.


They tried goats not enough, not for me.


They tried all kinds of produce. What would I do with that? Have you seen my teeth? You have a million icons, pay attention!


They tried cattle. Boring.


Then one day they decided they just weren’t in tune with what I wanted and they walked a boy up to the chopping block. Now that… That got my attention.

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Perfect. That’s what I was meant to be, was conditioned to be, from the moment of my birth, from the moment they equated that mark on my forehead with the pattern of the stars themselves. I was sent from the gods. I was to be returned to them.


Not to say that life was unpleasant for a sacrifice.. It was simply meant to be… short. I was meant to be kept pure, perfect for Anubis, bathed daily in lavish oils, fed the freshest, finest foods, clothed in the softest linens. I was not allowed outside without a set of slaves to keep the sun off my skin… keep me pale, untainted by this world. I was educated well, refined, trained to be a perfect servant to my master, but beyond that rarely spoken to. It was a lonely existence… and by the equinox of my 16th year I’d been plucked and groomed and trained to perfection. I could almost pretend I wasn’t scared to die.


I remember that day. I remember how they’d bathed me for hours in warm water, how they’d made every inch of me smooth and flawless, rubbed me down with oils until I was dizzy with the strange scent of flowers. My hair was pulled back, strands of gold braided loosely into it to display off the mark of the stars on my brow. I was spared heavy kohl around my eyes, dressed only in a simple Shendyt, the thin, soft linen brushing against me as I moved, the sensation sharp in my memory.


They tied a blindfold about my head before they started pouring the glimmering golden dust over me, to protect my eyes… it would not do to deliver me to my new master damaged, after all. When they were finished I caught a glimpse of myself in a shining, polished shield… shimmering, otherworldly, as I was meant to be. The golden dust meant one thing: I was never meant to feel the touch of another human being again.


That night is etched in my memory in a flickering dance of sharp details and the muted sounds of the deserts as I walked... I remember fear in my gut. That painfully human fear of death, the fear I was supposed to have overcome. Greater still I remember the fear that I would not be good enough for Anubis… that my life, lived in purity and loneliness, lived for him, would be wasted.

I remember the feeling of the smooth sandstone against my feet as we entered the temple.. Me and the little procession of lavishly dressed priests. All too careful to keep at a distance from me. To smear the golden dust upon my form now was to defile the property of a god.

Wines and breads and luxurious rarities set by the alter in offering, every set of eyes lowered but mine in that dark chamber. If death was to be my master I mustn’t cringe at his call. Fire flickering off the blade that would sever my flesh, rent my very soul. Did the torch light look so pretty against my own gold dusted skin?


Another breath, another step. Towards the cloth on which I was to kneel. On which I was to die. Colors in sharp relief, my heart pounding too loud in my chest, like it somehow knew that it would never have the chance to beat again.

And then he was before me, like a blinding light, and the only sounds were the thudding of my heart, too fast in my chest and the din of the blade that was to be my end against the stone… warm flesh against mine in a way I never expected to feel again. My world spiraled, went black, but I heard him, heard that soft kind voice… heard the power behind it, though to my ears the words themselves were lost.


I don’t know how long it was till I woke, pleasantly cool in the stillness, my eyes slow to open. At first I thought I was dead, passed into the next world as I was supposed to have been… but a soft voice and the responding fluttering of my own heart proved otherwise.


“Easy… I’m not going to hurt you.”


I’d been told I was beautiful all my life, been made beautiful, as perfect as I could be. I knew beauty… and the creature before me put the very stars to shame. He was spun gold and honey and the glow of the sun over sand. In short, he was flawless. Perfection incarnate… and he was not supposed to touch me. He was not supposed to have me! My very life was for Anubis. I had to get to the temple, had to toss myself at the feet of my god and beg for his acceptance.


“Wh-where….” I was laying under sloped, thick, sandstone walls, in a chamber fit for a Pharaoh, Intricate carvings decorating the walls  just above eye level. Not many places I could be.  Pushing aside the next question on the tip of my tongue, How, under all the gods, did you get me into a pyramid?, to ask a slightly more important one.

“Who are you?” My panic fading along with the tremor in my voice, though the nervousness remained, leaving me staring at the breathtaking stranger, propped up on my elbows, golden dust smeared over the cushion.


The knowing tone of voice had me quivering as he turned to the side, making me lean forward a bit in confusion.. Until the likeness of the deity my very life was promised to lit up like an oil lamp, drawing a soft gasp I swear was not my own, and-

“P-priests balls.” 

Nice. Way to greet your master. Fool.

I clamped my lips shut, lest I say anything else so utterly stupid in the presence of my god, about to fall to my knees, grovel, beg forgiveness.

He never did let me fall.

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I’ll never forget. It was Egypt, in the time of Rameses, and something about the sacrifice of a first born son had appeased another god (probably the guy with the doves). It seems I needed appeasing as well. I must admit my disciples chose their sacrifice well, a fresh soul. A beautiful soul. I was so enamored I hadn’t noticed I’d slipped into the room, into the real world, until I brushed against him.

He was a little paler than the rest, chosen as my sacrifice for the mark of the stars in the sky on his brow. They were sure his birth was a sign that I demanded more from my followers and they were going to start by giving him to me. In pieces, if the sword was any indication.

The executioner was dust before he could blink and I caught the kid in my corporeal arms as he stepped forward in shock.

I froze. I’d never touched a human before, at least not solid, not like this “Um, Greetings.” I couldn’t tell if I was speaking the right language! I’d last spoken the common tongue in Summeria, so my chances were 50/50.

The good news is, I don’t think he cared.

The bad news is, he was unconscious in seconds.

Dipper was a young soul… a fresh soul. He was vibrant, blinding even. It was rather early for humanity but even back then, it was a rare treat to see one so untarnished. I don’t remember what his name was in Egypt. It’s been so very long now.. and it doesn’t matter anymore, really, he’ll always be Dipper to me.

When I met him that day in the temple I was wearing a body, a sloppily made one, but a body none the less. I was nearly monochrome, gold (hair, eyes, nails, etc) standing in a huge group of people that were just about to destroy this precious creature as a sacrifice to me. Suffice it to say, It was pretty awkward. I tried once again. “... Greetings!” That I knew was Egyptian! “He’ll do for the sacrifice.” I said smoothly, tilting my head at the pile-of-ashes executioner as I dragged the boy off. Pretty sure they had to get a handful of slaves to chisel their jaws off the floor.

I’ve always loved pyramids. Simplistic, elegant, sturdy. They’re fantastic. Built to entomb Pharaohs,the upper floor served as my home on the rare occasion I visited the physical realm. I suppose in hindsight it was fitting, considering who I was.

I didn’t slap him awake or anything, so unseemly. I was a proper god back then, after all. I let him rest until he was ready to wake, which fortunately didn’t take long. “Easy,” I spoke softly as those warm brown eyes flickered open. He was lying a few feet from me on a cushion. “I’m not going to hurt you.” I’d tried to fix the monochrome problem, but I still looked decidedly gold.

“Wh-where … Who are you?” Smart kid; sandstone, at that angle? He’d answered his own question. Good.

“Don’t you recognize me from my press?” I said with a wry smile, turning in profile and letting my favorite motif light the wall behind me: the jackal head of Anubis.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s a pretty lofty claim. Bill fucking Cipher, claiming to be Anubis? It doesn’t quite work the way you think; we exist as we are, we’re not responsible for how you depict us. So… yeah. I was Anubis, by your limited human perception. Get over it.

Needless to say, being saved by the god of the underworld didn’t calm Dipper down much. “ P-priest’s balls

I just laughed. “You’re lucky I don’t give a shit about swearing.” That got a smile out of the kid. He was adorable.

“Y-yeah? I … didn’t think gods would s-swear.” He was really trying not to freak out. I admired that.

“Must be the company I keep,” I teased lightly and grabbed a pomegranate from the bowl next to me. I didn’t realize I’d grown a claw to cut it with until after the kid gulped so I just ducked my head and broke the skin along the sections, busying myself with the fruit.

There was so much to discuss that neither of us knew how to start, and the feeling of discomfort permeated the room. So I was pleasantly surprised when he spoke up first. “What… do you want with me?”

Brave question. Good question. What did I want? I stood, pacing to think. “I’m bored!” I blurted out and covered my mouth; but it was out now. I lowered my hands and took a breath. “I’m bored, and running around doing the bidding of thousands upon thousands of humans is exhausting! I need … a distraction.” I felt that I was justified in my complaints and felt a moment of self-righteous indigence fill me before my eyes returned to the kid. “What… would you… like in return?” I said cautiously.

Dipper had followed me up and was nearly grinning from my outburst. I thought he might laugh at me. “Bored? A god is bored? I doubt that; seems like all we do is ask you for things,” he shook his head. “As for what I want.” He turned serious in a second. “I want to know why you saved me. I was chosen for this - for you, at birth, groomed for this day my entire life, everything about me has been dictated and ordered so that I remained perfect for you... and you stopped them. Why did you do that? Was I… not good enough? Did I do something wrong? I…” he stopped then, looking stricken.

I was aghast.

“From birth? You’ve known you were a sacrifice your entire life?” I thought back on my long existence, time meaningless in my immortality… but to be told that i was never allowed to live for myself… That sounded horrible. “You didn’t want me to save you? No, don’t answer that. I don’t care. Why did I do it? Because you’re gorgeous, kid, and I haven’t seen a soul that pretty since the dawn of time. Why did I save you? I may be the god of the dead in your simple reckoning but these things happen in the proper time; every death is an offering in a way, I don’t need some drugged up seer to slaughter a beautiful thing like you.”

The look on his face was a mixture of speechless and gratified. Likely, he’d been groomed to be beautiful, but maybe hearing it made it real. I had to catch him when his knees gave, but he looked at me like I was insane. “You … don’t want me to kneel?” He said softly as I helped him up.

“No, why would I want you so far away?” I had many other things in mind for my offering at this point, and nothing involved him being on his knees… yet.

His face was blank in surprise. “Are you… courting me?” He leaned back as I stepped closer, looking both shocked and incredulous. Wide eyed looked good on my newest plaything.

“Yyyyyes.” I said coming to a halt. Shit. What if he said no? “Weren’t you .. promised to me, a gift? Why is that surprising?” Haughty. Stick to that. Don’t allow him to say no and he won’t. Good plan.

“I was, but… in the afterlife,” He was still skeptical. Absolutely delightful. This was going to be fun!

“Well, consider yourself dead to the rest of the world then, if that helps," My quipped remark sounded chipper. "Humans lose more than just the spark of life when they die, you know. I’d still have full use of you as a servant but It’s been so long since I’ve taken this form. Seems a pity to waste it.”

I followed as he stumbled backwards, smiling wide as he backed into the altar of all things. The irony. I don’t think he realized what he was leaning on. I laced my fingers under his thighs, pushed him up onto the altar, watched his pupils dilate, heard his breath quicken. “I… um…” Flustered, adorable.

“How did you think you’d be serving me, then?” I know I was lonely but I still couldn’t tell you what it was about that kid that made me want him so badly. I stroked my hands up his body, ruining the ceremonial don’t-touch-it paint and ravaging him with my just eyes for another moment before I finally gave in.

That kiss in the pyramid was the first of many over that lifetime. I had so much to talk about with him, so much time spent. We did everything together… except live beyond his years.

“Why?” I asked, for the millionth time I was sure. He was still beautiful, still pristine as the day I met him, though the body was failing… “Why won’t you let me stop this?” I was in tears, on my knees, as I had been for every small illness, every time he’d gotten sick. He wouldn’t let me cure him, to stop him from dying, no matter how much I begged.

The old man on the deathbed smiled his sunny smile and cupped my cheek, wiping a stray tear rolling down my face. “You don’t understand, my love, and you never will.” His voice was weak but the affection rang through clearly.

“Try. Yes, again, dammit, try again, make me understand… I don’t know what I’ll be without you..” I’d lived on earth so many years, with him. He was 81 years old, tanned and a little wrinkled but he got up on the table that morning himself and hadn’t come down.

“Without death my life is meaningless. No, don’t be like that,” he said softly as I ducked my head against the sandstone slab and wept bitterly. His wizened hand stroked through my hair gently as I tried to listen, to wrap my mind around his words. “All human life is meaningless without end. I love you, my golden god, but I cannot bear to stagnate with you. I can’t imagine living forever, even with you. I was not made as you are to have a life that spans millennia… Don’t cry, please. Just promise me you won’t forget, and don’t let them take my soul away. Let me come back to you, in my next life, yes? Find me then.”

I looked up at him then, tearstained and clinging to that small glimmer of hope. “Yes,” I whispered, turning to press a kiss to his wrist, my eyes closing.. And his wrist fell away.

“My love?” No. Nonono… “Baby please…” He couldn’t be gone, I wasn’t ready! “Don’t leave, me… No!!”

It was no use, he was gone. I saw the glimmer and had to shift my focus to the other side to see him lift from the body… and smile at me. I tried to smile back but my face wouldn’t work and I just sobbed as he brushed his hand over my cheek once more. I’d been right; he soul was still so young and new and vibrant, he looked as I’d seen him that first day. I sobbed brokenly and slumped to the floor as he faded away into the aether.

Someone came and… mummified the body. The violent and beautiful process meant little to me, the dressings threaded with gold… the Lover of Anubis was burned, at my demand, in his finery and beauty, on a pyre fitted atop the pyramid, a beacon in the night, his ashes blown away by the wind.



And I followed them.

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Greece, my home. It was a land of gargantuan white pillars and bustling people. I remember darting through legs of the crowds in the market as a very young child. Life with my family was simple. The youngest child, I was of little use working with my father as a potter, not to mention the mark on my forehead. It was only natural, marked as I was, that I was meant to serve the gods.

I always wore my bangs short, on my mother’s insistence, and of course, when I turned seven and was put forward I was readily set on a course to a life as an acolyte. I learned, in those years about the impressive pantheon of gods, more than I’d ever known before, but mostly I learned of my lord Hades, and how I must honor his temple.

It was years before I was old enough to be a servant of my god, and I spent the time well. I prayed to him, often. Prayed for the health of my family back where I had left them in the world of the city, I joined the others in prayer for the yield of crops, health of our livestock and our people.

I have never understood the shocked expressions of the priests when they first saw my face, exchanging nervous glances with trembling hands. I began my studies when I changed from a boy to a man, and I advanced faster than my fellows. 

I was the youngest altar boy in the history of the Necromanteion. After several years of my tutelage, and quite a few less than easy tests of my devotion set to me, I was considered ready, fit to take on my duties as The Keeper of the Gate to the Underworld.  None my age had ever even began their training for my position, let alone achieved it. My duties were actually quite simple: to guard the doorway to hell from any who were unworthy and I was to be the first to greet our Lord and Master should he grace us with his presence.


My mother’s face when I lead the procession through the temple was so full of pride and pleasure I thought my heart would burst. My tunic had been pressed this morning, crisp linen straps and a gold pin to hold it in place. After this day, I would only retire from my post to sleep and eat, and even those would never take me far away from my task.


I stood proudly at the gate with my brothers in service to Hades, waiting for the priest to say the rites of passage that would bind me to my task when the world as I knew it collapsed in on me. Memories rushed at me from all angles, colliding with each other in my head.

Was my skin so pretty?  No... My tunic had been pressed this morning.

The faces of the priests around me.

My birthmark, bared for the ceremony, the mark of the gods emblazoned on my forehead.

In the service of the god…   Of the dead . Of the underworld. Were... were those not the same?


The details blurred and spun and bled together and suddenly he was there, holding me again. My god. He was glorious.

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I suppose I didn’t have to wait too long for the next time I saw him, but after being with him every day for 65 years you tend to get used to a person being around. I had anticipated following him along everywhere he went, from birth. Intended to share our lives together for that time as soon as he could tolerate the memories. It didn’t take me long to realize that you can’t do that to a human brain at 3 days old, but I’d already lost him. No matter. I’d find him again and I’d share our story. He had the sign of the stars to guide him back to me; that kind of celestial omen tends to attract a lot of human attention.

This century’s flavor for me was Hades. I was enjoying the god of the dead thing, and my ‘dog’ was a gorgeous monster, even in the art. I couldn’t exactly tell where he was (Dipper, not Cerebus) when I arrived in Greece but this was where I’d last seen him, before he was born into a new shell, I assumed. Sixteen years isn’t very long to wait for me, though it was quite tedious just waiting. I prowled the other temples just in case but I mostly stuck to my own, hoping he’d appear. Sometimes I could hear him praying; for someone in his family who was sick, for his dog. I’d like to say I was well behaved during those prayers but the Greeks liked to bang their foreheads on the ground when they prayed to me and the thought of Dipper in that position ... It was a LONG time... 

I don’t know quite how to describe the moment I felt him enter the Necromanteion for the first time in Erypha, but if I had to try it was like a thousand little legs running over me... an awareness. He’s here, I thought, and finally I could see him again…. He had barely changed at all, just a little tiny bit dimmer than I saw him on his deathbed. He was an acolyte for the tunnel, the way to the gate.

I didn’t quite know how to proceed with this, to give him those memories from his previous life. It was quite simple, really; his soul already knew them, I only had to open the door between this life and the previous one. So I did.

Dipper froze as that door swooshed open in his mind, flooding him with memories of our life in Egypt, the long hot nights, the sweltering days in the shade; his life as the Love of Anubis. His face contorted in pain… Shit.

While the poor kid processed all this, I slowly retook human shape. Blue fire and gold smoke rose from the tunnel before them and I walked ‘out of the gate’ (no use breaking the mythology), right up to the poor kid and slipped an arm around his waist, tugging him to me. The acolytes around him gasped and the priest muttered a protest…

“M-My Lo-Lord??” I just held up a hand imperiously for silence, I was not in the mood to listen to anyone else at that moment, all my attention on the boy.

I had to be patient, just watching the memories roll through, his mind struggling to pull everything in and hold on to it. I could tell it was agonizing but I couldn’t help but smile as I relived them with him, gently pulling the boy’s head against my lips to kiss his temple.

“Darling,” I said softly, not quite knowing what to expect, this being the first time that we'd had to do this.  “Sweethear-” I didn’t get to finish the word.

“My Lord Anubis! No. Wait. You’re Hades? Or … both? I … Oh you found me!” He threw his arms around my neck suddenly and kissed me full on the mouth, as though not a day had passed. I blinked in surprise. It had taken him years to gain the confidence to do so in Egypt… and sure enough he leapt back like he’d been burned. “Sweet Olympus I just kissed you..! I’m so sorry I … why did I do that? How do I love you?”

I just laughed, pulling him close and kissing him again. I didn’t care where we were, that the rest of them were watching with their mouths hanging open, I could only focus on the relief of having my boy back in my arms.

“Gods above,” he said, a little wobbly and googly eyed.

I frowned and nipped his lip. “That’s enough of the plural oaths for you, boy. You’re only worried about one god from now on, I think you’ll find.”

He smiled wide, looking a little drunk and nearly danced with me as I led him farther into the temple. He was full of questions. “So you’re a different god now! What’s it like? How long have you known I was here? Oooh where are we going to stay this time? No pyramids!” He giggled at that; adorable. “I’ve never… we don’t…  but since … we… uh…Am I allowed to touch you? Oh! Did you miss me?” The flood of words stopped as I halted. I’d nearly been dragging him along after me, he was so adorably excited but that question.. I couldn’t let that go.

We were alone now, thankfully the others hadn’t followed. “Hades is much the same as Anubis, darling, so the change matters very little. I didn’t know you were here until you got into the temple, but I did hear you praying over the last few years. As far as living arrangements, most priests are more than happy to accommodate their deity if he asks for somethingI’m not worried…” And I ducked my head, trying not to be too emotional. This boy had been raised with the notion that nothing was personal or emotional about service to me; getting him over that would take time… but my voice broke anyways. “Yes, please touch me… I have missed your touch since the day you… left.” His lip wobbled a little and he raised his hand to my cheek again, just like that day he died. “And I … haven’t been the same since you were away. It’s been a little over a century, darling,” I said softly, drawing him back into my arms and leaning my face into his hand.

“A c-century?? I … didn’t know..! I’m sorry?” he said, looking confused and slightly upset, like it was his fault.

He was so cute and I couldn’t help but laugh as I kissed his palm. “And what would you have done differently? Be born earlier? No. There is nothing to be sorry about my dear, you are perfection.”

The questions continued all night. What was hell like? Oh right, limited perception. Dumb humans making stuff up based on what they see. What was the time without him like? Did I see anyone else? Well he was -just asking- and I needn’t get so huffy with him. And finally:

“So what now?” He’d talked for about 30 minutes straight when he suddenly sat up straight on his cushion and looked at me, head tilted as I lounged near him, just listening to him prattle. I looked him over, lazing next to him and just laughed.

“It’s just good to hear your voice again,” I said softly. I didn’t know how to approach this bouncy kid, but I wasn’t lying. I was so relieved to sit there, looking at him. Just glad to be with him again.

He persisted. “But we … did stuff.” He squirmed and looked at me from under his lashes, suddenly a lot less chatty. Oooooh. Right. Sex.

“Sweetheart, We don’t need to do that tonight… or… ever if you don’t want to,” I made myself grit that last out. It would be a long freaking life time if I had to live around the gorgeous kid and be celibate while in human form.

“D-doesn’t have to be tonight?” He fiddled with the pin on his toga, looking at me under his lashes. Gah, he was gorgeous. He blushed further and muttered softly “We did the first night in Egypt…”

“No, darling, I won’t force you. I’ve never forced you.” I smiled wryly at him, trying not to look sad.

“W-what about tomorrow then?” I almost didn’t hear him mutter that last. I stared and he shrugged, looking sheepish. “I can remember what it feels like, yknow… it seems like only yesterday but I’ve never … W-we don’t … I haven't ...” He was floundering for the right words

“I’m aware of the temple rules, sweetheart,” my tone was kind, soothing, and I ran a hand gently up his arm. “Tomorrow, huh?” I said softly, laying back and drawing him closer to curl against my side, sighing. “I thought about you every moment you were ...gone… and sure, I missed nights in our bed. But mostly, darling, I just miss you.” I pressed a soft kiss to his temple and when he turned his face up to me with curious apprehension, I couldn’t help but lower my head, half rolling onto him. 

He’d kissed me first but that was quick and rushed and shocked. Now I had all the time in the world to taste him, watch him. It fascinated me to observe all the little things that made him different from how he’d been in Egypt, and even more when I realized how little he’d truly changed since that last morning I’d spent with him. I got to learn about him all over again... The hesitant way his lips pressed into mine, the shy flutter of his lashes fanning his cheek, his little gasp of shock when I nipped his lip, the way he clung to me when I finally gave in and fitted my mouth against his.

“Tomorrow,” he rasped hoarsely when I nipped my way to his neck, his voice broken and almost pleading. I chuckled softly and pulled back, giving him a kiss on the forehead; he was deliciously rumpled and trying to stop the motions of his hips against my leg. 

“If you keep looking at me like that, I may just make you wait longer so you’ll beg…!” He was stunning, and a lot less covered up from squirming underneath me. His face looked stricken at that so I sobered and brushed my lips against his swollen ones again with an apologetic “I’m teasing, gorgeous. If you’ll have me, I won’t make you wait.”

He looked so relieved as he reached up, threading a hand through my hair like he loved to do back in Egypt and my heart soared. “I’ll hold you to that,” his voice was husky but I don’t think that was on purpose.

Thankfully we didn’t have to continue the awkward conversation that night as the poor kid fell asleep soon after.

That lifetime with Dipper was filled with the innocent fun of temple mischief. Dipper found it perversely satisfying to play pranks on the priests in the temple and I didn’t tell them no. I suppose it was a kind of payback for the rigorous training they’d put him through as a kid. I was dragged along like a well loved toy.

I tried to reason with him about letting me save him. He knew neither I nor his perception of Hades accepted human sacrifices but he was convinced that his mortal life was important, that the body had to burn to rejuvenate the soul. I tried everything with him, but he soon tired of the ‘I am a god you know’ argument and eventually he forbade me to see him when I brought it up… And eventually it didn’t matter as much in that life. I knew I wasn’t going to win, so I just tried to enjoy the time I had with him. I’d get him to agree next life.

“What will you do without me?” He said, his voice a whisper compared to what it had been. 

I snorted, tucking him under my chin again and wrapping him tighter in my arms. The curly, whispy white hair blew into my face a little and I smoothed it back gently. “I dunno that there are times I’m ‘without’ you, darling. I follow your soul until you’re born, then spend the first years of your life waiting to hear from you, to see you.”

He smiled and his eyes closed. “How can you miss me if I’m not … even…” He didn’t finish the sentence, just faded away as I clutched his body tighter.

“Gone?” I finished the question for him as I swallowed hard. My eyes welled but the new priest was there; I couldn't cry. Dipper had fallen that morning on his way out of the bedroom and we’d just made him comfortable in the main room of the temple. I liked this new kid, he was special too. Polydactyl. Going places.

I stood slowly and carried the body with me to the gate below in the tunnels. The Acolytes all gathered to remember their brother, following in a procession behind us. When I got close to the gate, blue flames coated the body in my arms and the one I had made, turning both to ashes by the time we reached the gate. To anyone watching, it would look as though I’d just taken his soul to the underworld, but I blew a light breeze back the way we’d come, lifting the little glimmers of my lover away them to flit on the wind…

And I followed them.

Chapter Text

Have you ever wondered why you even exist? Th-the gods all have a purpose, a function. As a worshipper of the pantheon, I’ve always entertained the notion that perhaps each mortal has his own function too… But I can’t imagine who could have possibly assigned mine.

I serve the noble house of Corum. They manage the largest complement of gladiators and for the poorest in the slums, this can be the only option… provided you manage to attain the physique required. My grandfather was quite large, and one of his brothers was quite the brawler for the family; I sadly got the short end of the stick.

Too wide hips, lean muscle at best, soft brown eyes, my hair grown out to cover my ‘unnatural’ birth mark… “Get over here girl” was a favorite phrase of my master’s gladiators; to them, I suppose that’s what I was.

The strongest among the slaves, the winner at the end of each night or tournament is given his reward in follies. Booze, a comfortable bed… and a companion to share it with. Me. I’m … I’m a wh-whore. Tasked with p-pleasuring the winners. Master Filius Sacerdos Corum was kind enough to send me to a ‘school’ for … people like me. I took lessons from the Madame of Pompeii herself for a year before I was deemed ‘acceptable’ to the gladiators. I … um … some of them are also quite robust men as w-well and w-with my small stature …

Thankfully my great uncle Saxeus was quite influential. He’d won enough battles to earn his freedom, but not enough to free his entire family. As a rather distant relative, he had only a little say in what my life was like. Though I saw him often, it was difficult for him to stomach my treatment… His shame drove away one of the most helpful people in my life.

I suppose I should be grateful for the life I lived. To keep my appearance soft and appealing, i was allowed my own little room inside the manor home, clean fresh fabrics and healthy food. I was given few tasks outside of my duties at night, spending leisurely days walking with the ladies of the house in the garden, or with the other boys and household scribes.

When I was around 16, a particularly burly man became the favorite in the gladiatorial ring. He was … rough. The first time I refused him, he choked me until I was too dazed to protest. My owner was furious with both of us, revoked Iudex’s privileges to the comfort rooms for a week. He tanned my hide with the broad strap of the champion’s belt and allowed him to watch. It was humiliating.

The next time I refused him, he backhanded me into the door. I crumpled, screaming, and the servants came running. Saxeus voiced his disapproval but master was furious with me. The first punishment had been to teach me a lesson! How dare I refuse the champion again! But I knew better. If I let that brute anywhere near my… my … well, anywhere near me while I was fully conscious (which was what he wanted) I’d never recover. The internal wounds would never heal.

The next day, Master Corum bound my hands and took me to the temple of Pluto. He wanted the priest there to ... I’m not sure. Did he think that someone there would condemn me to a worse fate? What could possibly befall me at the hands of the priests that would scare me into submission.

It… it may sound folly, and fanciful, but the older I got, the more strongly I felt something… or  someone…  was waiting for me. That fanciful hope sparked inside me every time anyone spoke of the gods, but when my wrists were bound, dragging me through the streets in sackcloth, the mockery of the townspeople… I wept bitterly, streaks forming in the dust from the long, painful run behind the cart into town.

It took me until the first antechamber before I begged for my life, for his forgiveness. His eyes when he turned to me were filled with such disgust, I knew there was no hope. I’d not had to deal with Master Corum often, b-but I didn’t know he loathed me so much until that moment.

When he dragged me into the courtyard, I froze, stumbling back. There was … a man? No, nothing that beautiful could be human. I knew him. Knew him. How could I know him? Golden hair like the finest offerings, such intense blue in his eyes… I’d never seen such a thing…

That’s when my eyes stopped working.  

The world ripped open, the moments of my life exposed like the pages of a suspended codex, the information for two different life times fitting into each space, extending until my … death? I pulled my hands to my head, the pain was horrific, but they wouldn’t come to me… something held my arms… the rope? I panted in pain and frustration as memories filtered in. Sandstone. White marble. Blue flames of power and the flames of passion. Night after night of … Him…

My eyes rolled back into focus just in time to see my god rip the whip from my mortal master’s hand and then he caught me to himself again. Sobbing, I clung to him, beyond relieved to be in his arms again. “You c-came f-for me…” I managed, my face buried against his neck. “I thought my life was over…”

The world darkened slowly, the details blurring at the edges and the pages of my life tried to snap back together with all those extras in there… and then nothing hurt at all.

Chapter Text

The next time I saw him I almost wish he could have skipped that life … but I’m too selfish to mean that.

He was a slave in Rome, and he bore his soul-scars like a boy who could withstand no more. Dressed in rags, following a dignitary of some sort, he stumbled along barefoot after the asshole dressed in dyed fabrics and fancy military garb. He was bound at the wrists with a wide leather collar around his neck. Dirt on his face, tear streaks in it. It took everything in me not to reduce the man to dust on the spot.

I could see his soul and he was.. What had this man done to him? Had he lived another life that I hadn’t found? He felt almost … broken? I mean I’d seen worse but the change from the last life was appalling .

I couldn’t stop myself, he wouldn’t suffer at that man’s hands another moment, so I stepped from the shadows and bowled down the doors blocking his memories. He froze just like last time.

His ‘master’ wasn’t all that happy and tugged at his bound wrists, then turned on him with the whip in his other hand. Dipper had just gotten around to looking at me with such hope in his eyes, but he winced when he saw the whip and cowered away from the bigger man.

I was in front of my boy in an instant and caught the whip as he swung down and jerked it from the bastard’s hand. “Now now, is that the way to treat a god’s lover?” I said, growling and hiding the boy behind me. The altar in the temple lit up with blue flames as I glared at the coward… he turned tail and ran.

I had barely turned when I suddenly had an armful of sobbing boy, his bound hands clutching at the robes I had draped over me. “Hey, hey, I’m here,” I said but he wasn’t listening.

“You c-came f-for me,” he sobbed, more streaks down his dirty little face as I wrestled with the ropes on his wrists. “I thought my life was over,” he whispered softly, and leaned on me hard, on the verge of collapsing.

I gave up on the ropes. “Get out,” I said softly to our audience of gawking worshippers as I picked him up and cradled him to my chest… but no one had moved. “I SAID GET OUT!” My voice was rough and amplified, echoing through the temple, every flame in the entire building turning methanol blue with my rage. Plebians.

Dipper continued to cry and whimper and mutter to himself, clutching at my clothing in his distress as I carried him through the temple. Finally we were in the bath, the ritual bathing pools that were under the stone building. “Hush baby, please… I’m here.”

He struggled uselessly at the bindings, his body wracked with sobs. “P-please… I …”

“Darling, I have you,” He was shaking, convulsing in my arms. “Love?” I held tighter. What was wrong with him? When he gagged and stopped crying, my eyes widened in horror. The neurons in his brain were firing wrong, shaking through him like lightening instead of their normal pathways, sparking everything incorrectly… I bit my lip, conflicted. Dipper had never let me fix anything wrong with him before but this? I just found him, I couldn’t lose him again…

It was all the memories rushing in, I realized in horror. Everything assaulting him at once, trying to mesh two completely different and frankly pampered lifetimes with the one he had now as a slave. His brain was stuttering, trying to make up for the differences, attempting to fit the memories into one lifetime somehow. Two deaths had happened to this boy now but he was alive; two former meetings and lives with me and yet he’d barely seen me. I was frozen in my spot, horrified at what I’d done. I could never do this again, I thought… and what if I lost him now?

Finally it was over and the kid slumped against me again, crying raggedly into my neck. “Fuck this,” I muttered and snapped in irritation, the blue flames removing all the fabric and the ropes as I waded into the bath, cradling him to my chest and rocking him back and forth in the water.

He slowly quieted, soothed by the warmth of the water and me, I think. It was quite a while before he stopped sniffling and began to squirm in my arms. I let him go with a sigh. If he was anything like his previous incarnations, this was going to take some time for him to adjust. I closed my eyes to listen to the soft sounds of splashing and leaned back in the bath. I’d just gotten comfortable when he straddled me and ran his hands up my chest.

I looked at him with one eye cracked open, watching him. He leaned down to nip at my collar bones and then up my neck. He’d washed his face and hair, had run his fingers through it to make it stick up at an appealing angle… For such a dirty boy I’d have never guessed his skin would be so soft. “Whaaaat are you doing?” I said skeptically, my hands coming to rest on his hips. I was not complaining. Would never complain.

He snorted, sounding a little amused. “Are you going to try to tell me that you didn’t miss me, my lord?” Purring. My lover was purring Oh I was the happiest ever… then I stopped to take a closer look and hissed a little. The other times he’d come to me he’d been … ah… kept pure for my ‘use.’ In this life, it would seem, he had not.

I’ll admit, this seriously pissed me off riiiiight up until he threaded his fingers into my hair and kissed me. I had never forced the kid, not even at his most reluctant moments in Greece and Egypt, but this was new and very very welcome. He slipped his tongue into my mouth easily and I ran my hands up his sides with a moan. “Baby…?” I panted softly between his hungry kisses.

“Lover,” he panted hotly against my mouth and pressed closer, his legs wrapping around my hips to rub himself against me. My hands gripped at his hips and back as the flames within us leapt higher. I fought to keep the two of us at bay, to keep from rushing this but I didn’t want to. I finally gave in, tilting my lips against his to deepen the kiss before I let him take what he was begging for.

This was going to take some getting used to but it certainly wasn’t unwelcome.

I can’t tell you how many altars we desecrated in that temple. How many pillars I pinned him to when our passion flared too high for the tame embrace of silk sheets. I have no idea how many kisses I stole or how many moans I caught off his lips with my teeth in the few years I knew him.

We were insatiable.

Dipper has never been a prideful human, but to say he didn’t enjoy the attention he received as my lover would be a lie. The boy had been a slave to the sexual pleasures of the gladiators and now he was one of the most respected humans that existed in their world.

But we drew too much attention, however many years it was and there were those in the nobility that resented my taking a public lover from the lowest echelon of society. I’d never kept Dipper anywhere, I didn’t chain him up and keep him with me at all times. He was and always had been free to come and go as he pleased, and I was sure that he would be safe just from belonging to me.

How wrong I was in Rome. It was midday! In the temple, actually, and I was just the other side of the place, can’t remember what I was doing… His former Master confronted him, while some big redhead stabbed him in the side with a poisoned blade. I felt it the moment his soul left me … again.

I was there faster than two feet could carry me, and I caught him before he hit the ground. I was stunned, every molecule in shock as I held the body in my arms, and didn’t even notice when they shoved the knife into my ribs. Not that it mattered. Nothing mattered anymore, nothing living anyways.

“Do you have any idea how long I waited?” I said softly, stroking through Dipper’s hair. His eyes were still open and he stared at me, his face a mask of agony and shock. I could just see the remnants of his soul clinging to the flesh but the consciousness was gone. “Do you have any idea who you’ve just murdered? And who you’re now going to answer to?”

The rage within me was too great to even be heard in my voice. Instead it took another path, blue fire consuming the blade wedged into my side and up the man’s arm, reducing him to ashes. I turned, my eyes dull, to watch him disintegrate as the fire burned, consuming flesh and bone and stone and everything in it’s path.

Rome burned hot and bright that night, but I saved our little alcove for last. I just couldn’t bear to watch him go again, but if I didn’t release him soon, he’d be trapped in the body. It would be over and I’d never see my love shining out of a pair of brown eyes ever again.

The stone was hot enough to vaporize my falling tears as I rocked him slowly, my expression deadpan. “You might have let me sustain you this life,” I whispered to him. “You might have s-stayed with m-me,” my voice finally broke and I buried my face against his neck. “Please darling… come back to me soon,” I begged as the flames took the flesh. They were so hot from blazing all over the city that the bodies were dust in seconds, the ashes kicked up from the temperature fluctuations.

I lifted from them reluctantly, sluggishly, unwilling to face another century without him as I watched the sparkling soul remnants of my love flit away on the wind. It was agony to see them go… 

But I followed them.

Chapter Text

“I … Heavens above I am NOT ready for this! I mean I know I’ve prepared for this as well as possible but now that it’s here I … I think I’m gonna puke…!” I paced the room nervously, shaking with nerves. I felt like I was going to sweat the paint right off, and that would -really- be bad because I wasn’t wearing much else.

“Well if you’re thinking of chickening out,” I started as a feminine voice came up behind me and tried not to scream in my twin sister’s face, “Just remember: I must succeed or everything I have ever known will be burned to ashes. And have fun.”

“Whaaaat are you doing in here?? I’m… naked!”

“No you’re not.”

“Yes, yes I am!”

“Oh… is it bad that I didn’t notice?”

“I hate you, y’know that?”

“I figure,” she continued, studiously ignoring me, “That its a good thing I didn’t notice, being your twin sister.”

“Did you come in here  just to mock my manhood or did you… have anything to add?” I proceeded to ignore her snickering at the word ‘manhood’. Rude. So so rude.

An unsure pause. “I wanted to give you this.” Her words were a little flatter, and I noticed the red rims around her eyes, the slight nasal tone to her voice as she held out the wooden beads. Brightly colored and delicately painted every color of the rainbow… they were beautiful. I stared at her.

“You… weren’t you going to wear this for your wedding?” I backed away from her a little, already shaking my head. I couldn’t accept that. The colored lacquer beads on the necklace would have taken her days and days to craft.

She grabbed my hand to stop me. “They are for luck, good fortune, kindness and love. They are my prayer for you, brother, that the god you are calling down to aid us might not only spare us, but you as well.” Her fear was palpable and I gripped her hand tighter.

“I’ll be fine,” I said softly, kissing her hand clutching mine. I reverently took the beads and put them around my neck to join the rest of the costume. “I’m always fine.”

“Besides,” she sniffled, fighting for a smile, “I don’t have anyone to marry yet!”

I snorted, grinning back. “That didn’t stop you making them!” I ruffled her hair. “Cummon sis; Let’s go see if I can go show this god of death that we’re worth saving.”


… Ok, I should explain.


During the previous moon cycle, Purempecha attacked from the west, cutting off our supply lines to the ocean. We were struggling to maintain the manpower for both fronts: the battle grounds and the farmlands. They had the ocean to feed them while our crops rotted in the fields, not enough hands to collect them.

We turned to the priests for a solution, begging them to open up the secrets and spells that would bring us salvation. Our spiritual leader, chosen for the six digits on each hand and foot, told us of a god that could help us. A god of death, of sickness, of plague. Of monsters. He could be summoned to destroy one’s enemies, but there were warnings; something must be given in return. Unsure of what to give him, and unwilling to sacrifice a life to the god, I myself came up with a solution: I would show him that we as a people were worth saving… and that I myself could entertain him while still alive.

He didn’t want to tell us. He said that the god was evil and that we should return to the earth; our time was through, it was clear. But the people refused to lay down and die. He warned and warned and nay-said for my entire training.

Training? Oh um… Well, this god was also known to have influence over twins and monsters… I h-have a twin ysee and I have found several strange beasties in the forest and um… He seems really close with the other god who carries the sun? S-so that’s why I’m standing in the middle of a circle, dressed in my pride, a lot of paint, my sister’s beads and a light ceremonial dog mask.


I’m a little crazy.


The drums began to pound and they quickened my heartbeat. I learned the dance, yes, but this … this felt so much more, so very intense as it thundered through me. They say that Xolotl favors dogs. Will I be his faithful pet? Devoted to my Master’s whim? My cries to the heavens matched the chanting as I walk the pattern of the circle, thrown up into the night sky with the floating embers from the ceremonial fire…

And suddenly I wasn’t alone on the sacred runes. Gold flashes across the fire, the gleaming body matching my steps. I thought for a moment I had summoned a shade but when the body mimicking mine began to lead the dance… I dropped to my knees, head bowed, panting hard as he finished the steps to stand before me. I truly was no more than a dog, lowly at the feet of this powerful, terrifying being.

His voice was cold cold cold, like the bitter wind off the ocean. “What would you have me do for you, young one? And why should I do as you ask?”

Something about his voice was achingly familiar and I had a small flash of memory, as though it was just out of reach. That little recognition allowed me to raise my head when all the others were prostrate and turn my eyes to his beautiful face and whisper, “Save us, my lord, your faithful, humble servants. Take my life as payment for this request, b-but I ask that y-you…” his eyes flashed and I swallowed hard to force myself to continue to speak “I ask that you allow me to serve you as I am, to devote my mortal life to your p-pleasure.” No doubt what he wanted as he licked his lips as if in reflex.

“Name your enemy, and it shall be done.”

Chapter Text

Nearly fifteen fucking centuries… I mean, I’m rounding up here, but stars above this shit was getting ridiculous! I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t see him again, but Rome had really taken a toll on his soul (I knew the feeling) and I understood the need to recuperate. I -think- I have the power to influence the wheel that runs the world, but typically that only makes things worse. If he needed all that time to recuperate, the least I could do would be to give it to him.  


But it had been so long.


I had begun to fear the worst had happened; that his soul was too damaged to return to a body ever when out of the blue, I received a summons. A true summons. I couldn’t see the summoner as I appeared across the flames from him, changing the dance he was doing to suit the two of us a little better…


Not that it mattered. No one had interested me enough to make a deal with them in centuries… until I saw him kneeling before me. Fuck he was so beautiful and I’d missed him so much. I wanted to pull him into my arms. I wanted to take him away and change him by force. My loneliness crushed me until I could barely breathe enough to mutter the words for the summoning.


“What would you have me do for you, young one? And why should I do as you ask?”


“Save us, my lord, your faithful, humble servants. Take my life as payment for this request, b-but I ask that y-you…” My irritation flared. Get on with it! “I ask that you allow me to serve you as I am, to devote my mortal life to your p-pleasure.”


I’m just impressed my mouth didn’t drop open, but I couldn’t help the lick across my lips when he said that last. God his glorious mouth… He had a symbol of Xolotl’s, my wind whirl painted on his belly, in the soft and vulnerable space, was a clear sign of intended submission. My mouth watered further. Play it cool. “Name your enemy, and it shall be done.”




So … next time I accept a deal, I wanna know who I’m going to be killing or maiming or whatever first. I should really build that into the summoning spell. I paced the temple, swearing in a myriad of languages as the poor boy just knelt, shivering on the ground, head bowed. I’d stared, sworn, then dragged him in here to think.

Well the deal was in the air now. I’d allowed him to name his request and his offering. All I could do now was say yes or no. And how could I expect to take him away from here if I said no? He’d never stand for that…


I suddenly stopped in the middle of the temple, staring into the skylight with a sigh. How pathetic, how far I’d fallen to being reduced to killing an entire nation of people to get laid.


He noticed my pause in the frenzied pacing and looked up at me from under his lashes; he was so damn pretty. I stuck with Egyptian, trying to keep the longing out of my voice as I spoke in a language he’d never have learned here. “Who am I kidding? You could have asked me to extinguish every star in the skies and I’d have said yes for one night in your arms, my love…”


He gasped, scooting away onto his ass. “How… what… what do you mean?”

I froze. He was answering in Egyptian. “You understood me?” I tried Latin this time.

With a little horrified cry, he scrambled up and was halfway to the door when I switched back to his common tongue. “I’ll do it!” I blurted it out in a rush to stop him from running away.


This time, he froze.


“I’ll do it. I’ll destroy them all… and I get you in return, yes? Your … mortal life, your body. Mine to do with as I please?”


He hunched his shoulders up but he nodded as he turned to face me. “Yes.” His whisper was soft but resolute.


I held up my fingers and snapped, trying not to wince. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy mass-genocide as much as the next death-god, but this felt selfish, even for me. When I looked at him again, he looked sceptical. “You want me to prove it to you? Will they take your word for it?”

Another voice interrupted us. “The people will believe me.” The high priest emerged from the shadows, his six-fingered hands hidden in an extensive ceremonial headdress.


I stiffened at the intrusion… he'd been watching. With a glance at Dipper, I tried Greek this time. “What's up with this guy? Why is he sneaking around?”


Dipper's accent was adorably terrible, but he answered in Greek!  He remembered? “He doesn't trust you. He was against my summons… I think I'm beginning to see why.”


I turned on him so fast and switched to their common language, my eyes flashing angrily.  “You don't trust me? After murdering an entire nation of people for you?” I snapped my fingers and the stones beneath us glowed blue, taking us to the battlefield I'd just cleared. The Aztecs were crying in their relief and thanks, praising all sorts of other deities for the ‘miracle’. My stomach actually rolled. I grabbed Dipper's upper arms and forced him to look at what he'd asked for, speaking softly in Egyptian. “I didn't destroy them for your people. For the pleasure of it. I destroyed them because it means that you belong to me…” Even as I hissed the half threat, pinning him to my chest, my fingers stroked gently at his skin.


The priest merely nodded gravely and bowed low at the hip. “Thank my Lord;your got has truly brought about our salvation. Please, how may we honor you best?”


My smile was razor sharp and my fingers tightened. “I have what I want right here, thanks.”


Dip shrugged away, skittish and side eyeing the other male. “He's right!  We should celebrate, show our gratitude!” The warriors around him cheered and raised their spears; it was all rather dreadful.


And that's how I ended up sitting on a straw mat atop an altar, covered on flower garlands and jewelry, being fed bits of food by my new pet. My very willful, unsure, wary pet. I sighed and opened my mouth. I'd always enjoyed visiting dreams; maybe he'd come around when he was thinking less.

That bite was actually not so bad... and whatever I'm drinking has teeth! Wooo!

Chapter Text


I cannot believe he got this drunk. What the hell? I could barely keep him upright as we made our way back from the feast, his arm around my shoulders, babbling and singing in various languages. Some I knew, some I didn’t, but it was all fairly raunchy, I gathered. No idea why.

When I finally got him to a bed in the ‘residents’ wing of his temple, he slumped onto it, giggling . This was the god of death, plague, and monsters? “Uh, shall I leave you, m-my lord?” I couldn’t tell if I was speaking my own language anymore; I had been just following his language choices all night.

I also probably should not have given him that last cup of wine.

“Y’knowat I like aboutchu, Pine-hic-ree?” He slurred, pointing at me as he struggled to sit up enough to lean on one elbow. He crooked a finger at me, and I slowly bent closer, thinking he was going to whisper, or something else equally childish. “You’ave lipssss,” he lisped, his long fingers on my face, puckering my mouth and pulling me down to him.

I put out my hands to keep from collapsing on top of him completely as he pulled me forward, more than a little surprised by the change of topic, and even more so by his… skill? I don’t know what I expected but the grabbing and his mouth on mine made my knees weak with desire. And just when it was starting to get good, he released me to fall back to bed giggling again.

Ok, last two cups. Shit.

“Well, I always aim to please.”

“An’ please me youuu dooo!” He wasn’t bothering to sit up now, just pointing imperiously, as though this was a decree he was making. He was actually kinda sweet and disarming, if you got over the grabby god-of-death thing. The beginnings of a fond smile crept up on me; maybe my sister’s prayers had been answered.

“Hmm, glad to hear it,” I said softly, pulling up a low stool, then placing his foot in my lap to unlace the beaded sandals and he hummed softly, a smile on his face, eyes closed. “Did you … call me a name?”

“Mmmhm. PineTree. S’you. S’alus been you.” Always?

“What does that mean?”

His face turned serious, but his sing song croon remained. “ You're the Pine Tree, you always burn;if you don't, you can't return. ” His eyes popped open and he turned to look at me, the tone of his voice remaining the same but his eyes begged as he continued “ Stay with me, our lives entwined, don’t make me wait for Dipper Pines. ” My blood chilled. His eyes were a sickly yellow, black slit pupils and far-seeing gaze unnatural in his beautiful face…

And then he slumped on the bed in a dead sleep. My mind reeled, trying to figure that out. Always burn? What about a pine tree, what kind of name was that ? And why did that sound more like a title than … whatever? ‘ Don’t make me wait… ’ What did that mean? I knew little about deities, but that almost sounded like prophecy. Had I just been witness to a telling of the future? Eesh, I needed help. I’d go see the high priest in the morning; this was far, far beyond me.


*~* BILL’S POV *~*

Ugh, my head. What on earth was that stuff? I smacked my lips together, trying to get the cottony feeling out of my mouth. I peeled my eyes open with a wince and instantly regretted it. “Agh! Fuuu! Whadis wrong witchu!”

“Me?” The soft, amused voice next to me belonged to… my love! Dip! AH! I was HERE!

I tried opening my eyes again and was reminded why I wasn’t trying harder. “Auuughhhnnno. Th’sun. Thadasshole just shines his fuckin face every day and I’m so godsdamned tired of it .” I cracked one eye at the light streaming in the doorway and shouted at him “ You need to check your wattage, Huitz! ” There, that’d show ol’ Huitz- … Huitzilo… ah what the fuck ever. Still drunk.

The soft chuckle came from around the location of a dip in the straw mattress I was laying on. With one hand blocking the light, I cracked my eyelid again to look at him and instantly teared up. He smiled, amused at me I think, then shook his head. “You look at me like you’ve been waiting for me for a lifetime.”

I blinked back a tear or two and tried to smile back but my face wasn’t cooperating. “Far longer,” my voice was gravel.

“I don’t understand. How? Tell me how you, the god of death, could possibly know someone not yet in their second decade.”

Despite our bargain, my hand still shook as I reached out to touch him. This was the first time Dipper had actively sought me out, but it wasn’t for himself. It was for the good of others. Partly, I was proud, but the other part was selfishly dismayed. What would I do if he ‘served’ me out of duty and not love? “I’ve never had to tell you… I’ve always shown you. But the last time…” I gulped, remembering Rome. “The last time, you suffered quite a bit.” I chewed my lip, thinking for a moment… when I met his eyes, he looked intrigued and still amused. Good. He’d need that. “Trust me?” I said softly as I stroked my thumb over his cheekbone. 

He nodded and leaned a little into my hand. I pulled his forehead against mine and drew his consciousness into our memories.


The sun shimmered on the marble as we walked through the covered gardens. His hand was in the crook of my arm and he leaned against me lazily. This temple garden was my gift to him, complete with a spring fed pool. When he stopped to dip his foot in the small pool, a soft gasp escaped him. I grinned, watching him quickly check for people around before he whooped and stipped off the toga, streaking into the pool. The noise echoed off the marble halls beyond and I sunk to the floor to lay back and watch the clear blue skies, ignoring everything el-

“Ah!” I started, my body contorting away from the frigid water. “Did you... “ my voice was filled with laughter and I had to pause to stop from laughing in his face. “Did you just splash me?”

He giggled in response, then gasped at my faux angry face, trying not to howl with his amusement. “Never, my Lord! I would never mock you in such a fashion!”

“Rightly so.” I lay back down, arms folded over my chest, both eyes closed. “That would be - Augh!” My indignant, playful roar echoed through the adjacent hallways as I rolled to my knees and launched myself into the pool at him. The tussle was over in minutes, Dipper the clear winner with his arms and legs wrapped around me and my hands cupping his smooth buttcheeks. I grinned up at him as he wiggled in my arms, kissing at my face.

“You’re not a very scary death-god,” he said, feigning skepticism.

“And you’re not a very reverent worshipper!”

“Whatever will we do with each other?!”

My answering grin was slow and wicked. “I can think of a few things…” He gasped when I nipped at his neck, pinning him to the side of the marble pool, my body heat warring with the cold water.


Dipper jerked back with a soft shriek, back in his own mind in the Temple of Xolotl. I watched him warily. The memory I’d given him was simple, easy, tame. “You don’t have to do thi-”

“More,” he demanded, leaning into me again. He picked up my hand to replace it on his cheek. "Show me more."

I was nearly bursting with happiness… and I showed him whatever he asked for.

Chapter Text

There were rumors, stirrings, whissssspers… the temple was full of half truths and fear. The god had done as he was called to do, why was he still here? There was no more need of him now; surely he should just take his prize and go?

But the high priest remained silent, judging them, saying nothing until the boy, the sacrifice came to him one day. He’d warned them, would warn them again, with his last breath.

The child bowed the precise amount; no idea why, he was the plaything of a god now, above them all… “What is it you seek, my child?” The formal opening to the little meeting allowed him to speak.

“Xolotl… said something to me this morning…” He seemed unsure but in a different way. A soft hopefulness had sprung to life in his eyes, and he was calling the god by name now. Huh.

The high priest just raised an eyebrow, waiting for this surely amazing proclamation.

“Oh! Right, heh… um. He called me the Pine Tree… Like a title. And I’m really not sure what that means or how … I just don’t know.”

“What else happened? Your heart is lighter than the day before.”

“He said… he showed me,” the boy amended, his brow furrowing a little, “He showed me my previous lives. With him! Ha!” The sunny smile blossomed, betraying his true feelings.

The high priest suppressed a sigh, instead forcing a smile across his face. “Oh? And what did he show you?”

“He’s been other gods in other places! Completely separate from our own, across the great water where the sun rises. There is a land that is entirely sand! And another that is so vibrant with green trees and blue skies, I didn’t think that humans could see in those colors! The buildings there are so strange, so different from ours, and so long ago!” He was lost in the wonder of it all… “How can that be?”

Sixer forced his smile another notch. “Who can explain the wonders of the gods?” This was worse than he thought. “I am only a man, my son.” The one they summoned was beyond a simple deity. “Go now, and tend to him. I will consult the oracle, perhaps together he and I can discern the prophecy Xolotl has blessed us with.” He bowed low, then turned to leave. He should have left the secrets hidden, safe! Just who had they called down!?




I liked this place. It was simple yet refined. I’d been laying around for a while when Dip seemed to come out of the reverie he was in. “We’re… soulmates.”

I smiled warmly and reached for him, my fingers gentle. “Yes, love, we are.” He grabbed my hand and put it against his face and stared at me, intense and unblinking for a minute, right into my eyes. I was instantly a little worried. “Are you ok babe? How’s your hea-”

You don’t understand. I get it, ” he said emphatically, leaning in. “My lord… My love… I … I don’t want to forget you again.” We’d taken it so slowly over night, allowing him to absorb slowly, only going over particular times or maybe a few runs of time condensed for his brain to have time to assimilate the information. No where near the amount of information he’d gotten last time… but it would seem he understood?

My mouth popped open, a soft gasp as he suddenly leaned in and kissed me, quickly crawling on me. I lay back willingly, my hands clenching air as I fought not to rush him.

“I’m yours,” he whispered against my lips when he finally came up for air, then leaned in to nip my lip again. “Why haven’t you claimed your hard won prize, my love?”

“You’d be amazed at my self restraint,” I rasped back, gently dragging my fingers up his legs where they straddled me. “Besides, I wanted you to remember … or at least know … before…” It’s amazing I can blush at all, being as old as I am, but there I was, pink cheeks and everything.

“So what’s stopping you now?” he purred in my ear, nipping down my jaw.

“Two layers of cloth?” My voice was breathy, gripping at his simple loincloth and pulling at it until it came away with my hand. “One left…”

He sat up up then … and if anyone were to call the noise I made a whimper, I will make sure that disgusting accusation was their last.

He pulled off the last layer, scooting forward, his movements remembered but jerky with disuse as he reached back for me, fingertips teasing as much as they relieved. “S-stop! Stop. Please let me… can I…”

He curled close to let me move him around, arms wrapping around me tight as I pinned him on his stomach, my knees widening his legs. He arched up into me, teasing my length with the crevice between his cheeks. His hooded eyes stared at me as I rubbed the head against my target, teasing him further now that I had his arms behind his back. His squirming was going to be the death of me, I remember thinking as he turned his head back to me, eyes half closed and mouth hanging open.

I pushed inside, too fast, too hard and froze when he cried out and tightened like a vice. Heavens above he was so tight; and I’d just hurt him! “Love…!”

“N-no… I like it. A-Again…” he replied, his voice muffled. He’d turned his face into the pallet beneath him, gritting his teeth.

I pressed in farther and he sucked in a breath, hands gripping my wrists on either side of his head. “Babe, I -”

No , I want this. I want to remember. Forever. Make it so I never forget you again,” he sounded almost drunk under me, rolling himself back against the intrusion.

Something… ticked in my head. Hearing him say that, ask for that, it was intoxicating . I lay down fully on him, forcing myself in to the hilt and laying on top of him. I started moving; slow, deep strokes, and growled in his ear “You want to remember, huh kid? What if there was no time away to forget? What if I told you we could be together forever?” I nipped his ear and he turned his mouth to my own, panting.

“Do it.”

I stared. “You’ve never…”

He laced his fingers with mine and arched into me, panting. “Promise me. I don’t want to be away from you again.” He was begging me this time; begging! I’d never even gotten the chance to ask him in Rome but here, he wanted this, asked for it on his own.

I nipped gently at his neck, moving against his hips as I growled in his ear “ Later…




I woke with the boy in my arms, curled against me in the dark. The hum of voices outside the little outbuilding we’d spent the night in was a soft lull in the background. My arms wrapped tighter around the boy and I frowned when I had to hold tightly. What was happenin-

The roof flew off and the stones crumbled to dust, disintegrating around us. We were both completely naked, surrounded on all sides by nine of the townspeople. They each wearing their most expensive clothing with ran quite the gambit; The high priest and the seer were clothed in fine capes with precious stones, while a fisherman wore a braided netting, a smattering of seashells decorating his form.

My eyes hardened as they settled on the high priest. “Can I help you, friend,” I asked him, my tone bitter and laced with venom.

“You are an abomination. Here to steal our souls! You care for nothing but yourself; we were wrong to summon you; any god that would slaughter hundreds of men -”

“That was what you wanted!” I struggled to my feet, disentangling from the blanket to glare at him.

“- for his own personal gain -”

I grit my teeth. “That was our arrangement.”

“- is no friend of ours!” He clapped his hands together and Dipper’s body was pulled upright, blue manacles on his wrists, head lolling forward as his hands were claimed by the priest and a girl… a girl that looked just like him. Her eyes were filled with worry but her face was set, resolute.

“What have you done?” My voice was nearly a shriek as the rest of the members took each other’s hands. Nonono! The damned banishing spell! Shit! “Let me g-!” I tried to surge forward but the lines held me fast where I was, trapped in the center. “NO! Baby, please, snap out of it!” He started to rouse, his head moving a little and then it snapped up, staring at me, a look of shock. “You have to break from them, love, please… I’ll take you away. We’ll dive from the cliffs at sunset, leave the mortal flesh behind, we’ll see the stars but you must break away from the circle!

The chanting continued, unaffected by my pleading as I crawled to the edge of the circle, trying to reach him, but they were finishing the spell. My one saving grace was that he wasn’t joining them in the chant; perhaps I would simply be banished instead of destroyed. I leaned my head against the invisible barrier, waiting for the spell to finish. I knew it was going to be bad…

But it was so much worse than I expected.

Gold fire snaked between my closed eyelids on the eye that was leaning against the barrier, dragging a scream from me as I was tossed into the middle of the runes. The spell wound up my legs, torso and arms, pulling away chunks of the body… my borrowed time was up. Not much left of me behind; but I could give him the strength to survive this. When the last crack formed, I aimed a flicker of blue fire at my darling… and was gone.



The little tongue of fire that hit me helped to melt away my shock. I was amazed by how much it hurt, taking in the power of a god; but nothing Xolotl chose to do to me would ever be unwelcome. My eyes burned blue as the flames fed on our soul bond, stoked by my rage. I turned to the priest. He just stared back, determined.

“You gave me the hint yourself,” he said softly as the ground cracked under us all, the very stones coming up to hold each blasphemer in place. “You told me what he said about the pine tree… it led me right to the spell.”

“Then you will be the first to pay for your transgressions,” I hissed, incensed. All I had to do was touch him and he turned to ash. I stared down the people I’d once called friends, the people I thought I was giving away my life to save. They meant nothing now. Finally I stood before my sister. “ Why? ” I asked, barely containing my rage as my fists clenched at my sides.

“H-he was going to take you away from m-me… one way or another… I didn’t know what to do without you....”

I pulled the beads from my neck, scattering them on the ground at her feet as my hands wrapped around her throat. “ I was his long before I ever knew you .”

Everything was ashes, the taste of despair heavy in the air… until the sun cracked the horizon in its descent. To the west, the cliffs beckoned… and I ran. Tears streamed down my face as I choked on the wind. “I’m c-coming love…” I knew we wouldn’t be together, but at least I wouldn’t have to endure this agony for the rest of this life...

I flung myself over the edge. The fire that Xolotl had given me burned hotter, brighter with the dying sun…

And then I was free.

Chapter Text

I can’t find Dipper anymore. I can sense that he’s close though…


                                                                                                                                                   I will tear this world apart to get to him.


                                                           They will…. I …. I will MAKE THEM



 give him back to me.

I don’t have the power to do this anymore… no one worships the old gods properly, no one remembers anything about me. Have you ever been so hungry you thought you’d just collapse in on yourself and die?

Well, it’s like that.

But I can’t die.





Oh… Its so much easier to find when I’m in his mind… the link, the pull… the future … He’s coming. He’s almost here! I just have to bide my time, reaffirm my dominion over this world… they will fall at my feet once AgAiN….


nOoooooOOoooo You can’t do this to me you cretin you bug. I did everything you wanted, Sixer HOW CAN YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON ME. I don’t have the power to open the void myself… they have my body, my flesh and i need that to gain power. WHy aren’t you LISTENING TO M-!






My name! My naaaame is he calling me? Is it … NO nonono i will NOT serve y-


He’s here!
What am i talking about…
Who am i looking for…
What do i ...

Memory. Fiiiind a memory. All alone in the Mooonlight i can smile at th o-

It was here it was close i could taste it what was that intoxicating …


THERE HE WAS! Who is he? Ohhhh i was so happy, he was so close...! Now if only i could remember ... why? hmmmm what... what was it i wanted to ... where am I? I could feel the pull of the summoning spell on me, that little shit GIDEON. GET THE MEMORY. Right. How… AH THERE IT IS!

Even Stan’s memories are splashed with the kid. All over… little pieces of Dipper are interspersed with the disjointed thoughts and … horrors… OH!


OH there he is !!! How do i know him WHERE DO I KNOW HIM FROM Baby please come back to me i just want you with me foreve- Huh?

AHA! He fought back! Of course he did. Why am i happy?

Because he won and he shouldn’t have. I should have killed him for thwarting me but he won .


Ohhh Pine Treeeeee


This cat and mouse is so exciting! He’s… a little younger than I’ve ever known him. That’ll teach me to rush into things but I’LL TAKE IT. I’ll just bide my time, stick around…

Why isn’t it working.

NO NO NO SIXER? WHAT!? Why is HE back?

Baby please don’t listen to him he’ll

Poison you against me and

We’ll never be


It’s hard enough to catch glimpses of the kid like this; he’s so -small- and fragile… what have the years done to him? His soul looks like he’s been tortured; is this my fault somehow? Have I abandoned him?


The Circle will pay for their transgressions. This time I will trap them all outside of time, outside of space, outside of their influence in this world. They will never separate us again. I will win you back later, lover. First I must make them regret their existence. If I kill one of them, they may be reborn again and wreak more havoc in our lives. We have forever for you to forgive me…


Not so adept this time, are you Sixer? Nervous, sweaty, starry eyed idiot when I found you. Now look at you, your estrangement has cost you dearly yet again! At least as a priest, people listened to you. Ah it’s so satifying to see you humbled, reduced

                                                               NO! Ford, you fooooled me


twice! I didn’t love you, I


CAN’T! I want him I Want… Dippper.


                         Get rid of me? nonoNONONO! I WON’T LET YOU


                                                                                                                                                 N o t a g a i n


who was I who was I last, it was…. I need power I CAN’T. DO THIS.


so long ago… baby I’m sorry! What can I DO!? Oh Dipper


i’m sorry




GOT IT!!!!!!







L T O L O X  



Ouch. Hit the mat, Ring the bell, Fighting above his weight class, STAN PINES WITH THE SINGLE PUNCH!

No. NO! I failed hi- where am I …? Who… put me here. It’s dark and there is only the slimmest pinprick of light leading the way out. I can FeEl HiM he’s SoOoO cLoSe! His… arms… around … me? No. NO I’m with … Stanley.

Ma...bel? No. I … no. put him back on the phone, what? No this isn’t a phone it’s a body. What’s a phone I … can’t tell you how I know..

It’s getting bigger! THe light it’s… it’s growing and I almost… Free…


And I followed him.







Chapter Text

SO The next Fic is up! When They Forgot is now in the series! Head over there and join us!