Summary: She wondered whether her sister prayed to Artemis for nighttime beauty. Cass/Raph. For Anysia.
Author's Note: Anysia said there wasn't enough Cass/Raph. Ask and ye shall receive…
Many things scared and worried Sophitia. Chief among them were the hell blade and what it might do to her family, her Rothion, her beautiful children.
Sophitia stared out through the window, watching the moon and stars trace out the curves of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike a star beside the glow of those well-worn steps leading up and up…
- - -
Thump. Thump. Thump.
The knocks on the door were wearied, made of tired nights and trembling legs.
Sophitia was only mildly surprised to find Cassandra standing there. She looked as if she had run from…wherever she'd been. Her sweat soaked hair was dark in the moonlight, her pale skin shining with perspiration.
Cassandra's blue eyes rose to her sister's green ones, and Sophitia was astonished to see how sad and lonely they were.
Sophitia helped her sister inside and closed the door, scared and worried.
- - -
Sophitia traced out the heroes in the sky, like a child with finger paints.
She felt warmth as cold as snow on her cheek, and realized it was a tear.
She traced out Orion with her tear for paint.
- - -
It was daytime, and a sleepy Cassandra lay on her front as Sophitia inspected her sister, shocked and horrified by what she found.
Bruises all over her body, like some giant had picked her up in its fingers and shook her like a doll. Cuts and scrapes from trees and brush.
"Cassie," said Sophitia, exasperated as she cleaned the cuts, "You have to learn to keep an eye out for branches and roots,"
Cassandra made a non committal noise and twisted her head. Sophitia paused and reached out, horror spreading through her veins like ice.
"How did you get that one?"
Cassandra immediately covered the mark up.
"I'm fine!" she snapped, agitated.
Sophitia, worried, left.
That night, she had nightmares of red dots like fangs on her sister's neck.
- - -
Rothion walked up behind Sophitia and rested his hands on her shoulders.
"Sophie…come to bed, Sophie. She'll be fine,"
But Rothion didn't sound as convinced as he did the first time she left.
Using a finger and tear, she traced the outline of the marks her sister had worn on her neck, sparkling like diamond jewellery.
- - -
Cassandra walked to the kitchen a few days later. Sophitia smiled at her, hiding her worry behind sparkling green eyes.
"…'morning," yawned Cassandra. She was pale as death, and dark circles lingered under her eyes.
"Have you been sleeping well?" asked Sophitia. Her sister didn't glow anymore. She was dim, and dark, and lost.
"No," admitted Cassandra, "But I'll get better,"
Sophitia's smile slowly slid from her face as Cassandra left.
Cassandra didn't look like she was getting better.
- - -
Sophitia knew that she did not look her best in darkness. Her hair was not as bright, her eyes as sparkling, without Apollo's light upon her.
Even so, Artemis would lend her beauty, of a sort.
She wondered whether her sister prayed to Artemis for nighttime beauty.
- - -
It was three months later, and Cassandra was not better. She still looked drawn and ill, and while she was cheery enough, especially with the sun to shine on her, when the shadows fell she grew sad, a creature of the darkness. Where once she had been made of the glorious light, an illness had stolen it from her.
Sophitia prayed to Hephaestus to forge her heart to a furnace again.
But Sophitia had a terrible feeling that it wasn't her heart she needed to worry about…
- - -
Sophitia followed Rothion into the dark shadows of their room and, nestled in his arms, she began to cry.
- - -
Sophitia stared at Cassandra, her hands still covered in flour, a smear of it on her cheek.
"I think I know where it is," but Sophitia knows Cassandra is lying, can see it in the way her eyes dart about like butterflies in a storm.
"Who made you ill?" it's been months since Cassandra came back, but Sophitia needs to know.
Cassandra paused, and almost looked ready to answer. She then sighed, turned her back and opened the door.
"I've no one to blame but myself, Sophie. Look after yourself? Please?"
- - -
"I'll never see her again," sobbed Sophitia into Rothion's arms, "She's gone!"
"She'll come back," said Rothion soothingly.
"Cassandra might, but Cassie won't! Where did she go? Why did she leave us?"
Rothion sighed and held her closer.
To that, he had no answer. If there's one thing a blacksmith can't forge, it's a soul.
- - -
"I'm back," said Cassandra.
It was the middle of the night. She was panting – she had all but fled the bakery – and she waited. Would he dismiss her? Tell her to go back to the baking and the sun?
He walked toward her, and brushed one sweat soaked hair away from her face.
"I knew you would," he said, and it's so close to arrogance Cassandra wants to hit him.
"Then why did you let me go?"
She can't see, but she knows he's smiling.
"My dear Cassandra, my darling," he brings her close to him in the dark, and she can feel blood-red eyes take in her body, soaked by Apollo over the months she was with Sophitia, "My beauty, my hated one, most lovely…"
He brushed his mouth over hers, and dips his lips to her neck.
"Why on earth would I stop you, when I know you'd come back to me? You've spent too long in darkness, my dear, my lovely, my excellent wretch…"
Cassandra lifted her chin, and Raphael grazed his teeth over the sun-touched skin.
"…and now you belong to me,"