It had been a long day, but then that wasn’t unusual for a day Hephaestus had spent talking with his priests and priestesses. He limped in the direction of his home, his feet feeling uncomfortable because he’d been on them for much of the day, and hoped that he would be able to have a day off soon. Occasionally he couldn’t help wishing he’d been born a mortal instead of a deity, which was the way pretty much all of the deities felt occasionally. Being there to help so many people could be the hardest job in the world, even though it was also one of the most rewarding, and that was why he would never willingly give up his position. There had been a few who did, for one reason or another, and he understood why they’d made the choice they had, but it wasn’t one he felt he would ever make, no matter how difficult things got.
When Hephaestus stepped into the house he could smell baking. Unable to stop himself from smiling he wandered in the direction of the kitchen and stood for a moment, watching his wife ice the cakes she had made, before he said, “It smells lovely in here, sweetheart.”
Aphrodite turned to look at him, smiling back. “I’m glad you like it.” She crossed the room and gave him a quick kiss. “How was your day?”
“Did you manage to get everything done that you needed to get done?”
Hephaestus shook his head. “I still need to pop in and see Hades tomorrow.”
“If you do,” a sleepy male voice said from behind him, “it might be time to ask for a puppy.”
“Have you been napping?” Hephaestus asked, as he turned to look at his husband.
Their eyes met as Ares shrugged, blushing a little. “It’s my first day off in months,” he said, sounding more defensive than Hephaestus was comfortable with.
“I wasn’t having a go,” he replied carefully, reaching out with one hand to gently stroke some strands of hair off Ares’ face. “Did you have a bad day yesterday?”
Ares had got in long after both Hephaestus and Aphrodite had gone to bed, after telling them not to wait up for him when he left, so they hadn’t had a chance to talk. “You could say that,” Ares sighed, running a hand though his hair. “I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about it yet, but when I am…”
Aphrodite rested her hand on Hephaestus’ shoulder. “We’re both here for you, Ares, whenever you need to talk.”
“I know.” Ares sighed again. “I’m sorry for snapping. Sometimes I just feel like I’ll never be anything but the Greek God of War to more people that I want to be.”
“Oh, sweetheart.” Aphrodite reached over Hephaestus shoulder to take one of Ares’ hand at the same time as Hephaestus took the other. “Those who care about you know that you are more than a war god. Just because that’s what the Greeks took from what you were telling them doesn’t mean that’s what you are.”
Mirrored from K. A. Webb Writing.