Once the green flash left the small chamber, everything was quiet. Large chucks of the Kakos Petra, along with other fragmented pieces were scattered around the room. The spell had been broken, and Rogan was left alone in the room. Poseidon had vanished, but sometime during the green storm of destruction, Rogan had felt a roar of anger, and then something else had been in the room. Something old and ancient and full of power. Poseidon had obviously gotten his powers back. An instant after that, Gristock's scream of fear reverberated through the green cloud. And then nothing remained.
The only evidence of Hali's existence was the fragments of a shiny blue metal, and a scattering of pearls, emeralds, and sapphires. Nothing else remained. She had disappeared.
The change in power once again swept through Atlantis. Although this time, almost everyone seemed to be pleased with it. There was no tightly controlling guard, no confusion about what had taken place during the Matrimonial Ball. Their Queen, Danielle, was once again in place, and calmly taking control of the government. The citizens of Atlantis were alive with the news of Gristock's betrayal, and their chatter was ablaze with the excitement of the upcoming wedding. The first time that the Queen had spoken to her citizens, she had announced her betrothal. Everyone was extremely pleased with the arrangement. It was obvious to all who saw them that they were in love, even if the bride's groom was a bit stoic.
Shortly after Danielle's and Rogan's hurried but grand wedding, three days after the battle; they were visited in their dreams. By Zeus.
Atlantis is blessed to have two such dedicated rulers, The disembodied voice echoed, As such, Gristock has been removed, and will never bother anyone again. Rogan Lefield. You are the current Destroyer, one of many. And yet, only you have ever had a distinctive quality. You are the type of man who would never be tempted with the power to Destroy for evil. You have found a loophole in your powers, a way for you to use them for good. You are purifying the Evil in the Destroyer, and as such, the power will die with you. Now, both of you, live the rest of your lives without too much worry.
Danielle and Rogan awake at the same time in the dark of their bedchamber. And they held each other long past the time that Zeus's words faded into the dark. They were truly blessed.
It had been a week since Hali dropped to her knees in the water. It had been a week since she had met her mother, the first person to come rushing out to where she sat, dazed. Her father and Jace had been close behind her. Hali had not know who the woman was, but once the beautiful lady had dropped down beside her and wrapped her arms around her shoulders, something in Hali reacted to her. She was warmth and feelings, and Hali felt so desperately cold and numb.
Hali shivered on the couch. She still felt that way. It had been a week... a week and she could still not bear to look at the ocean. The ocean... was Poseidon. Her mother had said that a week ago, on the day of the fight, all at once the ocean had been alive again. Poseidon controlled it, and while he had been under the influence of the ring, it had been dormant, the tides barely moving, the creatures swimming aimlessly. Once Poseidon was again its master, the sea rushed to do his bidding's. It again became alive. It again called to her mother... a Naiad. And Hali. But Hali would not have been magically in tuned with the ocean to feel its pull. Poseidon was there somewhere. And he was not coming for her.
Hali shivered once more, and stood up from the couch. The room swayed and the TV rattled off aimless shows. She had no idea what the infomercial was trying to sell her. It just kept the thoughts in her head to a minimum.
Rubbing her hands up and down her arms, Hali realized how cold it was. Her teeth chattering, she walked towards the side door. Not the one that face the ocean, but the one that looked at the resort. There was sun there.
Carefully making her way through the still unfamiliar rooms, Hali stepped out onto the porch. She blearily made the connection that it was 82 degrees outside, and sunny, and so she should be warm. Instead she sat down on the steps in the sun, desperately trying to soak up its heat. Placing her arms across her bent knees and squeezed her eyes shut.
"I don't understand," If Hali had had enough energy; she would have jumped at the sound of her mother's voice in her and her father's bedroom. As it was, the voice seemed to come from far away. "Poseidon returned to his full power a week ago. When Artemis was called suddenly to Olympus, it was to address the issues of Atlantis. But that was resolved over four days ago. The sea is once again in its proper pattern... and it is obvious that she loves him." Tears leaked out of Hali's eyes. Oh yes, she loved him. And wasn't that the problem.
She loved him, and would always love him... and she thought that Poseidon had cared about her. The pain in her chest tightened, and she could barely breathe. Hali took deep shuddering breaths, trying to calm herself down. After a week of it, she had a lot of practice. Behind her, Hali's parents still discussed her, but she blocked them. They obviously thought that she was still in the living room. But... if it wasn't for her, they would be blissfully happy. She might be out of it, but she was not stupid. They looked at each other the way that Danielle and Rogan did. The way that Artemis and Jace looked at each other, and they were to be married. Just like Danielle and Rogan had planned. Grunting in frustration, Hali let herself one small uncharitable thought: Was everyone blissfully in love except her? Squaring her jaw, Hali looked up, her eyes clear and her expression determined. It was time to end this.
Standing up and swiftly crossing to her bedroom, Hali threw on the first tops and bottoms of a swimsuit she could find, a green polka dot top and orange bottoms. Once again on the way out the door, Hali grabbed her dive bag, wet suit, and the keys to the new powerboat, and stepped out the door that lead to the water.
Hali kept her head down, not looking at the softly lapping waves just a few yards away. Instead she briskly shoved herself into the wetsuit, grabbed an air tank that was leaning against the wall of their cabin and set up her octo and bc. Strapping that onto her back, Hali grabbed her mask and fins... and then stalled out. She was actually going to do this. Taking a deep breath, Hali took her first glance at the ocean in a week.
Today it was a beautiful sea green, and all Hali could think of was that this was the exact same color as Poseidon's eyes the first time she had met him. When she had pulled him out of the water. And it was the same color as the day she had saved him as a mermaid. A small wistful smile played on her lips. It did almost seem as if she had saved him quite a bit in his kingdom. Shaking herself out of it, Hali walked quickly towards the boat dock. She had to finish it.
Below her was nothing. Hali's breaths came in quick gasps, the shock of it stealing her breath, keeping her from taking deep breaths. Closing her eyes in disgust Hali ripped away the regulator, and took a breath in the water. She was sick of pretending to be something she was not. Sick of allowing herself to wallow in pity. So, sixty feet below the water, Hali shed her diving gear, her bc, tank, fins, mask, and wetsuit, and sent it up to the surface with her bc full of air.
Staring up at the rapidly disappearing black blob, Hali took a deep breath and concentrated. Her magic was still with her, and it had become stronger the instant that she had jumped into the water. Hali's eyes slowly started to change, and the bc, which had been almost gone, jumped back into focus. Below her, were her legs had been treading water, they tingled, and then they fused and became longer. Taking a quick look at herself, she felt the first thrill of life in a week go through her. She was once again a mermaid.
Hali then focused on the nothing beneath her. Here, here was where her whole adventure had started. And now there was nothing left. Poseidon's Wrath was gone. Nothing of the great wooden ship was left on the ocean floor. It took at least two years for something like that to disappear. Swimming just a foot off of the lifeless sand, Hali's lip curled in a silly smile. Well, it shouldn't have even been around a month ago... but it had been. Poseidon's magic.
Well, Hali thought sadly, This is it. The end of my grand adventure. Everything that had happened... nothing remained. The ring, the ship, her friends, Poseidon. All were now nothing but a memory. Poseidon. Hali shivered, and she quickly swam towards the surface, trying to outrun her tears. She would never get to see him again. His ever-changing eyes, his gold hair, his dashing face and strong body. Never be in his arms again.. never sleep next to him, watching his dreams breathe across his face. "Damn you Poseidon." Hali's tears leaked out into the salty ocean, swallowed into the ocean.
"Do you really hate me now?" The solemn voice asked her quietly, jolting her to a halt. The muscles in Hali's body clenched, everything tensing up. The water throbbed with tension, and she was so surprised that she was not fried on the spot. "Hali," Poseidon breathed behind her.
Oh God! The tears came faster, and Hali's mind blanked. Without though, ignoring everything except her body, Hali bolted, her joined legs pushing powerfully through the water, her arms flat by her side, streaming water. She couldn't explain it, she just needed to get away from him, couldn't let him see how she he affected her!
The stream of water hit her eyes hard, and so she just closed them, uncaring if she was no longer sprinting towards the surface. Just to get away. And so when she hit air, Hali transformed herself back into a human quickly, determined to get onto the little powerboat and drive away. As fast as possible. But it didn't work like that. The air she had hit was a bubble, the magic holding it in place small but powerful. Poseidon... the God of the Sea. Desperation clogging the back of her throat, Hali tried to back pedal, get away from the bubble. Yet, once she started to struggle, the bubble expanded, enclosing her within its confines. It worked much like her barrier, although crystal clear. And she was trapped in it.
Hali pounded her fists against the glassy bottom of the bubble. "No!" Her breath caught in a sob. "No..." she whispered again. Here tears were still spilling down her face, unbidden and unstoppable. He was here, in the ocean. He had been since a week ago, and he could have come and found her at any time. But she had had to go out and try to find him. And now he would say some soothing words and let her off easy. She knew enough about men that this is what it would be like. She loved him, but he didn't love her.
"Hali." She kept her head bowed, on her knees, curled up on herself. Oh gods, this was too painful.
"Just say what you mean to say, and then please let me go." Hali knew her voice was weak, but she couldn't bear to put more energy through it. Her body felt heavy, the exhaustion of living in a state of limbo the past week caught up with her. She sagged.
Big, gentle hands curved around her shoulders and carefully straightened her. Too defeated and tired and ready to get this over with, Hali complied. And then he moved before her, dropping to his knees. Hali drank up every nuance of him that she could see. His eyes were indeed the same color, the sea green glowing with concern and with another emotion. She slowly took in the lines of worry around his eyes, his clenched jaw and his wrinkled brow. Pushing past the surge in her that she refused to believe was hope, she focused on what he wore. A white toga wrapped around his waist and up one shoulder, showing the other off with glee. At the base of the lone strap was a medallion of the same blue gold that her ring had been made of. On it was carved a lone wave. God of the Sea.
"Hali, love. Why..."
Love? Her gaze snapped back up to his face. He said love.
"Why did you run? I thought that you would be pleased to see me. Are you alright? You were not hurt were you? If you had been, I would have been back instantly!" The warm hands on her shoulder tightened.
Now anger replaced her defeat. If she had been hurt? "Why do you care?" Hali said, knocking one hand off of her arm. The other hand tightened and then hesitantly dropped away. "You are the one who disappeared for a week!" Hali watched with satisfaction as hurt quickly chased across his face. But then his mask was once again in place, and she felt that vile emotion bubble up even more.
Shooting up, Hali stood with her hands clenched at her side, shaking with all of her pent up anger. Her mouth opened and she started to speak, but she had no control over her words. "You disappeared! Do you know what this last week has been like? I didn't know at first if you had died, if you were hurt. Ha! But you are a god; of course you would not have died! And even if you were hurt you, you should have at least said something to me. But, you are a god! Who would worry about a little mortal like me? Why would a bloody God care about someone who would die in an instant? Even one who loves you, you great-"
The next instant Hali was wrapped tightly in Poseidon's arms, her face pressed against his wonderful, familiar chest. "Don't you speak of dying Hali! Ever!" He enunciated with a little shake. "You are going to live forever!"
Hali's mind blanked, her body freezing. Wha... what was he trying to say?
"It killed me not to come and get you!" Poseidon growled fiercely, his hands now roaming her back, smoothing her wet hair back from her face. "Damn Zeus!" Poseidon wrapped his palms around her chin and tilted here eyes up to his. Passion and energy emitted from every line of his body. Hali was sure that her face was full of confusion. He had wanted to come and get her.
"One of my brother's demands for not taking your memories of Atlantis was that I would not speak to you ever again." Poseidon's face gave away what he thought of Zeus's announcement. "But once I explained to him that I... that you wouldn't be left alone, and about your father and mother and Artemis's love for Jace, he shortened that sentence to one week." Gently cupping her face, he once again smoothed her tangled brown hair back. Hali could only gape in wonder up at him. His eyes searched hers, looking for something. The anger in the sharp panes of his face bled away to be replaced with tenderness and that expression that made her hope. "Did you think that I could ever leave you, Hali?" A warm smile spread across his beautiful lips, and his eyes revealed what he felt before he spoke the words. His arms, his expression, his body revealed it to her before his lips did. "I love you Hali. I would never leave you."
Tingles shot up and down her spine. Warmth chased away the icy numbness and biting anger. Tears once again surfaced, but this time they were the opposite of her grief-stricken ones. "Oh Gods!" Hali threw her arms around Poseidon's neck. "Poseidon! Oh, you know I love you desperately, forever!" Laughing and crying Hali clung to him, feeling his own joyful laughter rumble through his chest, into her, to a part that he would never be rid of. And then Poseidon's lips crushed down on hers, and she returned his kisses eagerly, desperately, with time consuming slowness and haste, relishing the fact that they were once again in each other's arms. And that this time, there would be no parting. Only together forever.
Poseidon filled Hali completely. She had found her missing something... in him. In Poseidon. Her Greek God.