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How we Burn (feat. TheDrag0n100)

How We Burn Somewhere far from the world we know, in some small corner of the cosmos, there was a bar. It was a decently clean bar, well-kept, with a few rooms above its decently classy lounge. And there, leaning against the counter, money in his pocket ready to buy other people drinks, is where the young man was nearly always found. This young man was quite well known, and his reputation had a tendency to proceed him. For it was whispered that he was what they call a “legendary time,” and that “his dick is larger than a very large hotdog” and “just as tasty as one too.” In fact, so great were these rumors, that eventually he received a nickname, one that would attract women—and sometimes men—from far and wide. It also attracted the attention of a certain Goddess, who after becoming rather pissed off at him for stealing her thunder, decided to test the theory herself. So one day, as he had taken up his post at the bar, waiting for the inevitable flock of eligible maidens to swarm him, he happened to look over to the far side of the room, and his eyes fell upon the most interesting girl he’d ever seen. He didn’t know at the time just what it was. She wasn’t beautiful by most standards. Her face was round and rosy, her nose curved outward and her skin was pasty pale. But there was something about the combination of these features that made her inexplicably stand out. It certainly didn’t hurt that as soon as his gaze turned to her he found her to be staring back, her piercing, green eyes nearly glowing from across the bar. It was “the look.” Yes, that one. Clearly she had heard of him. He sighed, here we go again, duty calls. He pushed off of the bar and made to approach her, except that at the same time, she stood and made to approach him. Oh, that was it. A challenge had been issued. She smirked, he smirked back, and they both began to push their way through the crowded tavern. Yet disappointingly, they mat approximately halfway across the room with no clear victor. “So,” he began, deciding on one of his most cheesy lines on the principle of irony. “What’s a pretty place like you doing in a girl like this?” “Drinking,” she replied immediately. “And looking for someone. I don’t suppose you’re familiar with the man known as ‘The God of Sex’?” He laughed, putting on his best lopsided grin. “That would be me.” “Wow what a coincidence,” she said in a way that implied that it wasn’t a coincidence at all. “In that case I’ve traveled a long way to meet you. You see, when I heard there was a challenger to my title, I had to see for myself. So far I’m not impressed. That line was terrible. Even if it was on purpose, that’s no excuse.” He frowned slightly, but kept smiling. There was something amusing about being lectured by this very short woman about his flirting acumen. “So, you’re known for your skills where you’re from too, huh?” “I’m known everywhere.” He raised an eyebrow. “What’s your name then? I’ve probably heard of you.” She smiled a little, winking. “You have, but I won’t tell you yet. Not until after. It’ll make you lose your cool.” “You assume there will be a demonstration at all.” “Yes,” she gazed up at him from under her eyelashes. “Because you can’t back down from a challenge.” Ooohhh, she was good. He sincerely hoped she would be good. She reached into her pocket, and pulled out a set of keys, waving them in front of his face. He knew them very well. Those keys fit into one of the doors of the rooms above. He followed after her as she led him upstairs. She closed the door behind him, and threw her long coat aside. Disappointingly, she actually had clothes underneath it. But she soon regained the points she had lost by pressing herself against him and angling upwards to kiss him. For a second he nearly lost it at the sight of her having to stand on her tiptoes to reach. First her shirt was off, then his as they began to figure out the required rhythm. She grabbed his hand and placed it on her breast, then chuckled as he reached under her bra and firmly cupped it. Her skirt was discarded on the floor as he pushed her back onto the bed, the worn springs creaking after years of abuse, and with his well-trained eyes used less than a second to take her in. Her skin was pale, nearly creamy, and she had a nice hourglass figure, with a thin waist and nicely shaped hips. Her breasts were small but round and firm. “So, the demonstration commences?” she muttered as she pulled him towards her. “How are we going to do this?” “Well,” he began, as she ran her fingers through his mussed hair. “I always top.” “You always top?” she repeated. “What kind of God of Sex are you if you always top?” He kissed her, working her body downwards. “The best kind,” he smirked, before moving his lips down to her chest. “Well alright then, go on and show me.” And so he did. Multiple times. It was some of the best he’s ever had. And he’d had a lot. “Alright,” he said finally, as they both lay panting on the bed. “Now I’m really curious. Who are you?” “What a shame,” she sighed, sitting up. “I was having such a good time.” He was only given a split second to ponder what exactly that meant before she burst into a glow of rainbow light. A wind whipped around as she spoke in a voice that shook the room. “My name is Sukimaki, Goddess of the Roads. You claim divinity and have tempted hubris, mortal.” “Oh…” he began, before the wind disappeared and she became dim enough to behold without going blind. Her guise removed, her hair was now a combination of several unnatural colors, and her eyes had turned a deep shade of pink. “But you were very good, so I’ll let it slide.” “Wait,” he blinked. “You’re not going to smite me?” She grinned, crossed her legs. “Nope. I’ve never really been the ‘smiting’ type. Now, take Valki on the other hand, but you weren’t bragging about being the God of Murder-Totally-Being-Justice-or-Whatever, so I doubt you’ll ever meet her.” “For all you know I could be a midnight vigilante with five bodies in my basement.” “Nah, you don’t. Bacchae would be the one all over you in that case.” “Yeah, the God of Madness is the one person I’ve never felt the urge to fuck.” Pausing, Sukimaki tilted her head to look at him, frowning and shaking her head. “You’re taking all of this pretty well.” “Oh no. I’m absolutely terrified right now. I’m just a good liar.” She shook her head. “You’re very… odd. You know that?” “In what way?” he asked, laughing. “I guess I’m so used to people groveling over my excellence that I haven’t actually had a normal conversation with a mortal in a long time. It’s actually kind of refreshing.” “More than the sex?” It took her a moment to consider. “You know, I think so.” He nodded slowly. “To be honest, I kind of agree.” He thought for a moment. “That’s… really strange.” “What?” “It’s almost as if I’m feeling genuine human connection.” “And I’m not even human.” “Weird,” they said at the same time. After a few minutes, the goddess roused herself and made to leave. And as she was pulling on her jacket, six little words bubbled up in his throat, quite of their own accord, six little words that he’d heard countless times but never once thought he’d utter himself: “When can I see you again?” She paused, shaking her head. “You know,” she said. “It’s been a really long time since anyone has dared utter words like that in my presence, but I’m pretty sure most people aren’t pig-headed enough to put a ‘when’ in that question.” “But it’s not a question. I know I’ll see you again, I’m just making you name a time.” “So it’s simple courtesy then?” “Exactly. Seem aren’t I a perfect gentleman?” She got very close to him then, and he felt her heat on him, just an inch away. “I never said you weren’t.” She kissed him once, leaving the feeling of her on his lips, and then she was gone, as if a breeze had taken her. “You’ll see me again. Soon. When you least expect it.” “Least expect it” ended up being a lot of things. He supposed they called her a trickster goddess for a reason. She seemed to pop up nearly everywhere. One day a beautiful maiden selling flowers on a corner, the next a young pickpocket—“What is it exactly you think you’re going to find down there, young lady?” “Your dick.”—One time she just simply sprung on him from a shrub. There were even a few times, much to his surprise, where they didn’t fuck each other’s brains out. Once or twice they ended up sitting down and talking, and much to his horror, he began to discover that he… he could barely even say it, he… enjoyed her company. There was just this ease to their conversations that he’d only ever experienced with people he’d known for years. And even with those few he’d always remained somewhat guarded. But of course, as with all good thing, it couldn’t last. For as affairs with gods are wont to do, things quickly got complicated. Very quickly. Sukimaki didn’t say much about what she did when they weren’t having killer sex, but it was clear that something was on her mind. She would often look over her shoulder before approaching him, or stop talking when she heard a sudden noise. And one day, it dawned on him quite abruptly that fucking with him was not the only reason she often appeared in disguise. She was hiding from something. “So, what’s with all the secrecy?” he asked her on day over his shoulder as he threw a condom into a back alley trash can. “Am I just so legendary that you want to keep me all to yourself” She rolled her eyes, zipping up her jeans. “You wish. I’ve gotten a better time from an overripe banana.” “Lies and slander,” he grinned, pushing her back against the wall. Her lips were soft and sweet, her breath hot… But after a second she pulled away. “Easy there, big boy. Very, very big boy. That’s enough for today. I’ve got shit ta do.” “What’s so important to do today when you’ve got all the time in the universe?” he asked as she began to walk off through the maze of alleyways. Turning, she shook her rainbow locks. “You don’t even know the half of it. Do you know how much mischief I’ve gotta cause to throw them off out trail?” He blinked. “Wait. Who’s ‘them’?” “…Shit. I shouldn’t have told you that.” She sighed, pursing her lips together as he waited for an explanation. “Look, it’s all a lotta complicated made-up ‘God Rules’ bullshit, and I don’t believe in any of it but basically you’re supposed to be cursed and/or dead right now.” “Uh…” he paused. “Why?” “Because you dared to claim divinity and have tempted hubris, mortal,” came a new voice from above the alley. They looked up, and through the glint of a sudden bright light, he could make out the descending figure of a red-headed women with large, metallic wings. Sukimaki took in a deep breath. “Aw, Valki, ya fuckin’ square. How did I know they’d send you?” The woman, Valki, landed gracefully on the top of a dumpster, from which she looked down at the two with a cold, hard stare. “Because as the Goddess of Justice, this is my job. Which I take very seriously, unlike some vagabonds I know,” she glared at Sukimaki pointedly. “Look,” Sukimaki took a step forward, “can we just calm down and tal—” “There is nothing to discuss,” Valki interjected. “This mortal has claimed to be our equal, and as his claim lies under your domain, it was your job to punish him. Seeing as you have clearly failed in this, that duty falls to the rest of us.” She reached upwards and plucked one of the feathers off of her wings. No, wait. That wasn’t a feather at all. It was really a giant fucking sword. “Oh come on, he’s done nothing wrong,” Sukimaki waved her off. “He’s not a narcissist, just an insufferable prick.” “That’s fair,” he nodded. And I mean, ya know he… may… actually be in the running for that title. Ya wanna give him a spin? He’s very good.” “I’d be down,” he nodded again, which at this point was really the only thing he could do. But the look of pure disgust that descended over Valki’s features was all he needed to know that he would not be getting double goddess pussy today. “Oh wait,” Sukimaki rolled her eyes. “You’re still way too busy sucking Okin’s tiny dick, aren’t you?” Valki’s eyes blazed. “If you weren’t immortal I would strike you down where you stand.” “But you didn’t deny it.” Sukimaki glanced pointedly back at him. “Did you hear her deny it?” “I did not.” “Enough!” Valki flared. “Stand aside, Sukimaki.” She paused in mock thought. “Yeah, I’m gonna go with ‘no’.” “Then feel the wrath of my blade.” “You’re on.” Sukimaki picked a thread from her jeans, which quickly grew into a large whip. Valki jumped down from the dumpster and slashed at the other goddess, her sword shining even in the dark alley. She swung once, twice, but each time Sukimaki flashed a step away. “You’re letting your anger blind you, young Padawan,” she laughed. “I don’t know what that means,” Valki spun around as Sukimaki blinked around her. The latter slashed out with her whip, and it wrapped itself around Valki’s sword. She attempted to yank it out of her hands, but met with a steel wall of resistance. “Uh oh.”

Grinning, Valki pulled, and sent Sukimaki flying through the air, right into a brick wall, which crumbled on top of her. “Now,” Valki turned to the young man. “Face your death with honor, boy.” Laughing nervously, he began to back away. “Honor? Me? Yeah, no,” Without a second glance, he turned and ran. Valki just shook her head. “It’s like dealing with a bunch of children.” Cracking the whip, it stretched far longer than its length should have naturally allowed, and wrapped itself around his leg. She pulled, and he fell forwards, still struggling to get away. “Stop crawling like a worm!” she commanded. “Don’t you see it’s over?” “Oh, I know that,” he replied conversationally. “I just want to make it harder for you.” She raised the butt of her sword. “Are you really going to make me do this?” “Yep.” Sighing, she brought the sword butt down on his head and he went limp. Then she grabbed him by the back of his shirt. “I’ll never understand assholes.” At that moment, just as Valki snapped her fingers and the two disappeared, there was a groan from the bricks and Sukimaki sat up. “Shit!” she brought her fist down on a brick and broke it in half. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” ~~ o ~~ When he woke up, he was someplace different. It was a small, square room, completely devoid of color or texture, and he was tied down to a rigid, uncomfortable chair by rusty iron chains. His head hurt. He wouldn’t panic, it would hurt too much to panic. “So, you’re finally awake,” said a voice, which seemed to come from the very walls of the room, surrounding him on all sides. “I’m sure Valki has informed you of your error.” “Several times,” he rolled his eyes. “Though she was choking so hard on that stick up her ass that I couldn’t really understand her all that well.” “Do you know where you are?” “Not a clue.” “Valki could have killed you, but you seem to have angered her to such a vile degree that she handed you to me instead.” He blinked, once, and she was there, standing before him in a dark cloak, her raven black hair curled around her face. “This is my domain.” He whistled. “Hello. And who might you be?” “Death.” “Even better.” One of her eyebrows twitched up half a centimeter. Disappointing. Most of the time that sort of humor got more of a reaction out of people. “So, am I dead then?” “No. Not yet. I’ve been told to make it especially painful first.” “That’s hot.” Without warning, the floor dropped out from under him, and he looked down to see that all that now lay beneath was a boiling pit of lava. He sunk to the bottom, still strapped to the chair, and screamed as his insides boiled and charred. It burned him away entirely, until he was nearly dissolved completely into the molten liquid… And then he was back in the room, not even singed. Death grinned down at him. “Yes. Yes it is.” “Man, I’ve seen some kinks, but I’ve never had a girl try to boil me alive before,” he winked. She wouldn’t get the last word if he could help it. The smile dropped an inch. “Joke while you can. You’re give in, they all do. Once I find what fear will break them.” “Well I’m afraid you’ll have to try harder than that,” he tilted his head. “I’m not scared of anything.” Death just laughed. “Everyone is scared of something. And you forget: this is my realm. The longer you stay here, the deeper I can delve into your mind. It’s only a matter of time before I know the fears that even you yourself are not aware.” “Well, shit, guess I’d better hide my porn.” “It’s too late,” she grimaced. “I’ve already seen it.” “So what’s next then?” he spread his legs as far as the chains would allow. “Freezing to death? Tightrope walking? Mashy-spike-plate?” “Nope. Would you like to know?” “Enlighten me.” “Bees.” ~~ o ~~ Sukimaki paced back and forth across the alleyway. This was all her fault. If she had just left him alone the other gods probably would have forgotten him entirely. But he had just been so damnably interesting. And she had been very lonely. And now he was being tortured and/or killed and it was all her fault. Dammit. Dammit! Now she was going to have to rescue him, wasn’t she? She didn’t want to, she really didn’t want a direct confrontation with the other gods, but she was just gonna beat herself up about it for all eternity otherwise. Okay think, think! Come on. Admittedly, thinking was not Sukimaki’s strong suit, but she tried anyway. Where would Valki take him? The fact that they had so royally pissed her off meant that she wouldn’t allow herself to punish him, as per her bullshit justice code, so that only left a few possibilities. She wouldn’t take him to Bacchae, that was out of the question. He wouldn’t listen to her, though to be fair he didn’t listen to what anyone said to him much. Possibly Okin, but Sukimaki thought Valki would probably die before inconveniencing her “master” in any way. So that left only one possibility… Oh no. This was not good. If Valki was taking him to her… Oh, this was bad. This was really bad. The gods weren’t supposed to go to the land of the dead, too many familiar faces. Sukimaki didn’t even quite know where it was. But she couldn’t just leave him to take responsibility for her mess. As she rose into the air, shooting through the sky and away from his reality, she swore her fucking head off. ~~ o ~~ His heart was nearly beating out of his chest by the time the buzzing stopped. He hated bees. He couldn’t even say the word properly, because every time he tried it just came out with the most violent hatred imaginable: “BEES.” Death grinned down at him, seemingly pleased with herself. Oh no, you don’t. “Man, I can’t beelieve you would beetray me in such a fashion. That really stings. I mean, with that slasher grin of yours, you must get a real buzz off of torturing people.” The grin dropped a little, replaced with a momentary look of sheer pain. There it was, he got her. “If you can still make such hideous puns then I clearly haven’t worn you done enough yet. So I think I’ll just leave you to randomized fear for a while before the real show begins and go make myself a cup of tea.” “Hey, could you make me one too while you’re out? Maybe with extra honey? Get it… because I was surrounded by bees.,” he called after her as she disappeared. There was, of course, no response. “Man, the service in this place, I swear.” He shook his head, and then was promptly dumped in lava again. The minute after that he was tightrope-walking across a canyon (“You know, at first I thought you had the hots for me, but now I can see you were just stringing me along.”). Then he was stuck in a glass box filling with water (“I always wanted to be a magician’s assistant. I’d be drowning in miniskirts.”). Then he was impaled with spikes. (“Stab me harder, Daddy.”). Over and over again, 518 dumb ways to die—he counted. Despite himself, the sheer bombardment was starting to get to him, first with abject horror and then increasingly with a sort of numbness that was almost worse. Impaled, burned, frozen, crushed, over and over again, in nigh constant pain… Worst of all, he was running out of material. There were only so many puns and/or stupid jokes one could conceive when one was constantly drowning, or falling, or being crushed between two mashy-spike-plates. Finally, after fear 518: being suffocated by fifty tons of elephant shit, he found himself once again in the white room. This time there was no chair. He was free to lie on the ground and moan. Death stood in front of him, holding two mugs of tea. “You’ve…” he could barely get the word out. Every part of him hurt. “You’ve really gone and… and beyond here. I was joking about the tea.” He managed to get himself to a sitting position, and then after a minute more, a standing one. Clearly, Death was frustrated. Her hair had become wild, there were bags under her eyes. But now, at his words, she started smiling. “Oh, this isn’t for you.” She walked right up to him and pushed him aside. Then, she handed one of the mugs to the person who was standing behind him. With a start, he saw the rainbow hair and realized that it was Sukimaki. He blinked. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “Watching you be tortured,” she said calmly, taking a sip of the tea. “It’s what you deserve, after all.” His heart dropped in his chest. He’d hoped that maybe she was here to break him out, but he could see now that this was not the case. “What?” was all he could get out. “Oh, you didn’t know?” she asked. “I suppose your ego’s probably too big to see around.” He thought of a joke immediately, but for once his tongue was stuck firmly to the roof of his mouth. “I’ve been working with Valki and Mor this whole time. It was all a test to see just how far your blasphemy would go. Did you really think that your skill could even compare to a goddess? That I’d ever be interesting in you? A lay-about with an out of control libido?” Stunned, he just stood there and stared at her, nearly unable to process the things coming out of her mouth. It made no sense. She had been playing him this whole time? She hadn’t actually liked him? She hadn’t even wanted him? “You’re a pathetic little shit-for-brains who thinks you’re so great, when really, everyone’s laughing at you.” No, that couldn’t be true, not everyone. Had they all… just been humoring him, after all? What was this? This feeling? This shit stung more than any bee that Death could throw at him. “It was a series of pity fucks, really. When I rode you into the dirt, I felt next to nothing.” “Wait.” He blinked. “Did you just say you rode me?” She furrowed her brow in confusion as he started laughing. “What’s so funny?” “I just figured it out. You’re not Suki at all, are you?” “What?” Death sputtered, the guise falling away. “How—” “Because if you were really her,” he leaned in very close, waggling his eyebrows. “You would know that I always top.” This had not been the correct thing to say. “You don’t deserve to breathe,” she growled, and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, long fingernails digging into his flesh, drawing blood. She lifted him into the air, and the white room simply fell away. Beyond that was utter chaos. Millions upon millions of white cubes floated in the expanse, connected together by grasping tendrils, or branches, it was hard to tell. Below, he could hear the wailing of the damned. They were screaming, crying for someone to help them, save them. And beyond was sheer purplish-green chaos full of squirming things he was glad he couldn’t make out entirely. “This is the Other,” she said. “The shite that’s in between the realities. Mortals aren’t suppose to be here. Can you feel it?” He opened his mouth to speak, but found himself utterly incapable of speech. He felt something pulling at him, and pushing, threatening to simultaneously pull him apart, and crush him into a pulp. “I’ll take you silence as a yes,” Death began to laugh, but as if from a long way off as green and purple began to consume his mind. ~~ o ~~ It was at that very moment that Sukimaki found them. She had known she was nearing her destination as the sounds of wailing despair reached her ears, and the hunch was only confirmed as she saw Mor, the Morrigan, or the Grim Reaper, or Death, whatever the fuck you want to call her I don’t give a shit, dangling an attractive man over the void. “No!” Sukimaki shouted, zooming forward through the chaos. “Oh, hello, Sukimaki. Come to collect your breathing sex doll? I’m afraid you’re a wee bit too late.” Sukimaki halted a few feet away. Valki was one thing, but Mor scared the ever-loving donkey shit out of her. “Please, I’m on my knees here. Get him back to a reality. Any reality. You know mortals can’t survive out here.” “Usually,” Mor grinned, her thin lips stretching nearly skull-like. “It’s far too late. I suppose we’ll have to see if he’s one of the strong ones.” She could tell just by looking that he was not. Already his form was starting to crinkle around the edges like tissue paper. “Here, take him.” Mor pushed him towards her, and he floated directly into her, pushing her back. “I have no more use for him. Far more trouble than he’s worth if you ask me.” Mor snapped her fingers and all that remained were those final words echoing through the Other. Looking down at him in her arms, Sukimaki shook her head. He was trouble. A ridiculous amount of it. He was rude and obnoxious, and he never shut up, and now he was going to pay for it. He wouldn’t just die here, no one would remember he ever existed. And it was with a small jolt that Sukimaki realized that those were all the things she liked about him. He told her the truth that no other mortal would dare, his stupid jokes made her laugh, and he always had something to say. And she realized, right then and there, that she didn’t want to go back to being without those things. He had made her feel more like a real person than she had felt in uncountable years. But there was nothing she could do. There was no way of him holding himself together long enough to get him back to a reality. And at this point, it looked like a next to nothing chance that he would rally the strength to fight through it. He was just one small soul amidst an infinity of chaos. Sukimaki didn’t want to forget him, it wasn’t fair, but all she could do was hold him as he crumpled apart. There was nothing to be done. Nothing… ….Unless… She froze. One small soul. One small soul. What if he wasn’t one small soul? What if he had many? Transferring souls was easy, and Sukimaki knew just where to get them. She had never given anyone a soul before, only taken them away. That’s how she became a god in the first place. But if she gave him the souls he would need, would she even be a goddess anymore? Would she even qualify? She shook her head. She couldn’t think about that now. “You’re lucky you’re so pretty, asshole,” she managed to choke out, and leaned down to kiss him. She reached down deep inside herself, to the place where countless souls had been caged and harnessed, and she opened the locks. Allowed them to all pour out, to cross the bridge where their lips met to breathe life into the dying man. Go, go! Faster faster! The air began to spark and glow around them. Come on, come on. Don’t be too late. And then it was done. She had given him all she could. Half of her souls. Sukimaki breathed. She had gotten used to the life, the amount of power that had coursed through her veins. Now she felt weak, and tired. For a minute, he just floated, unmoving, and for that same minute, she thought she had failed. But just when she took a breath to cuss so loudly it would shake the cosmos, he opened his eyes. And began to glow. “Whoa, I must really be dead now,” he mumbled. “Cuz I’m being visited by an angel.” If the laws of physics had applied in this place, she would have dropped him. Instead he just sort of tumbled away, laughing hysterically as he saw the look of disgust cross her face. “That has got to be… the cringiest thing… you have ever said to me… ever.” “You liked it anyway,” he winked. She frowned, trying to think of a suitable comeback, before finally settling on “Shut up,” instead. “But amazing swagger aside,” he actually looked at her now. “What… happened back there? I’m pretty sure I was passed out for most of it.” Sukimaki took a deep breath, and explained all about Mor, and how he almost died, and how she had saved him from oblivion, conveniently forgetting to mention the part where she had nearly cried over him. That shit would go directly to his head. “So, wait,” he frowned, rubbing his two brain cells together. “If you gave me half of your souls, and you’re a goddess, then does that mean…?” Freezing, Sukimaki’s brain nearly shut down. She hadn’t thought of that. This had to potential to be the stupidest decision she had ever made in her life. She had just taken the most egomaniacal, vain bastard to ever exist, and made him… “A god?” she finished for him. “I guess so.” His face spread into a ridiculous grin. He stared at her, and started to chuckled, then proceeded to do this for a solid minute before he thought of something else. “So, all of you have… things you’re gods of.” “They’re called domains.” “And you’re called a bitch.” “Damn straight.” “But okay, what’s my thing then?” he asked, and then, once she opened her mouth. “I’m not calling it a domain.” Sukimaki had to think for a second. “Well, see the thing is, the rest of us had time to ‘ascend’ or whatever the fuck. By the time we did we already had reputations and titles. You, on the other hand, have none of that.” “Oh, I have a title alright,” he grinned. “Oh no, please don’t tell me—” “I am from this moment forth Lybideus, the all-powerful God of Sex, if you know what I mean.” He winked, and Sukimaki felt a small part of her die. She sighed. “Did you just make that name up now?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “What kind of shitty, half-assed name is ‘Lybideus’?” “It’s my name.” “Okay then, why don’t you just turn your face into a donkey butt while you’re at it.” Lybideus blinked. “Wait. I can do that?” “Yeah, you can look however you want to,” she shrugged. “Did you think I actually took the time to dye my hair?” “Oh, I’m going to have so much fun with this,” he cackled madly. “Wait, wait! Gimme a second.” Scrunching up his face, he concentrated and then… his face was gone, and in its place was a perpetually grinning purple dragon head. “I am never getting rid of this. Ever.” “Really?” Sukimaki rolled her eyes. “How are you going to be the God of Sex with a dragon head?” He floated closer to her, his elongated snout only an inch away. “Would you like to see?” Despite herself, Sukimaki laughed. “You look ridiculous.” “Is that gonna be a problem?” “No. It’s still you. I have no idea how in creation I’m gonna kiss you though.” And so the boy and the goddess found that thing they were both missing: a home. They floated together in the chaos of the Other, drifting away to no one knows where. They didn’t know where they were going, or what came next. But whatever happened, for better or for worse, they would have each other. And in the end, that would make all the difference.

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