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Cause [2.2.10]

The room was pure white. Not the white of snow, or of a cloudy sky, but the sheer pristine white of a sterile hospital. The white of emptiness. The mansion was pure white and it glowed with an almost ethereal power.

Inside one of the many rooms, Min looked up in surprise as Aspasia walked past him. He opened his mouth to speak, but she replied before he could voice his thoughts.

“I’m going to speak to Xerxes. Please don’t remind me.”

“Ah, OK.” Min said. “After all, it’s not long now.”

“The door opens soon, yes.” Aspasia replied. She turned back to Min. “…It’s strange. I thought we would be more excited. But it feels like the right thing to happen now. It’s not something we’re looking forward to. More like…”

“It’s just another thing?”

“Yes.” Aspasia replied. “We’re ready for it now. Well, almost… let me speak to Xerxes about it.”

She walked off, and Min went back to his book. He was struggling to read it though, his thoughts still occupied by what would be on the other side of the strange front door that had never opened.

Aspasia found Xerxes in the garden, sticking his tongue out in concentration as he watered a thirsty flower. He turned to her once the task was done, and glared.

“I… only just realised something about you.” Aspasia said.

Xerxes’ eyebrow rose up, and Aspasia spoke slowly, knowing full-well that Xerxes was going to gloat. She also knew that for once, he had a right to gloat.

“You can’t read. I’m… sorry for not realising. I’m sorry, Xerxes.” Aspasia said.

“And THERE it is, you fetid bitch!” Xerxes crowed. He moved towards her aggressively. “Now do you see why everything you do pisses me off? ‘Uh, bluh bluh, I’m training him to be ready’, BULLSHIT! You’re just an egotistical fucker!”

“I’ve been unfair.” Aspasia replied. “But I am training you. I… I care about you, Xerxes.”

Xerxes stared at her, genuinely taken aback.

“What?”

“Whatever happens, and whatever we do…” Aspasia said awkwardly. “I… love you. You’re my brother. Those facts won’t change.”

It was the first time she’d said that to Xerxes in years. The petulant demigod didn’t know how to respond for a few moments.

“You’re fucking serious, aren’t you?” he murmured eventually. “You’re apologising.”

“I am. I’m egotistical, and a bit of a bitch. I shouldn’t have been like that with you. Is that… acceptable?”

Xerxes glared at her. “It’s a start.”

Aspasia nodded. “We were going to discuss the opening of the door, too, if you wanted to step into the living room for a moment.”

“I’ll be there in a minute.” Xerxes replied, turning away. Aspasia nodded again, and made her way out of the room.

Once the door was closed, Xerxes glowered at the ground in fury. “…I love you too, sis.”

He walked into the living room moments later, where Aspasia looked up at him.

“I’m omniscient, Xerx, in case you forgot. I know what you said.”

“Oh, piss off.”

“Anyway,” Min interjected, leaning forward. He moved up to allow the magenta-haired kid to hop onto the sofa. “The door opens tomorrow. It’s… soon.”

“Soon, our real purpose begins. We’ve grown up here, but now that we are grown up – to varying degrees, anyway – it’s time to find out what we’re really here for.”

“We’re gonna be able to go wild!” Xerxes said. “I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side. I’m gonna blast out of here and wreak some fucking havoc!”

“Not quite.” Min said.

“Well, that’s probably not far from the truth. I have a theory.” Aspasia said.

The two brothers turned to her, and she gestured to the white walls of the mansion, and the blazing light that poured in through the windows.

“You know how we have weaknesses when it comes to each other? I don’t omnisciently know your movements or thoughts, Xerxes can’t use his full omnipotence on us, and Min doesn’t have to be omnibenevolent towards us?”

“Yes, I’m aware. What about those?” Min said, curious as to where Aspasia was going.

“I think that the mansion is part of that.” Aspasia explained. “I’m quite certain that once we pass through the door and leave the confines of the mansion, we’ll get full access to our powers. Xerxes will become unstoppable. Min will love everything ever. And I… I’ll finally know what those dark spots in my mind are. My knowledge will be complete.”

“No way! So I do get to wreak havoc?!” Xerxes gasped, clutching the midnight smack with glee.

“Potentially, yes. Your purpose may demand your power. You must be strong enough to meet its expectations.” Aspasia replied.

“I’m the strongest being in existence!” Xerxes growled. “Whatever purpose I have out there, I’m going to obliterate it!”

“That sounds like a good idea. I suppose, though, with us leaving tomorrow… we ought to do something to celebrate.” Min suggested.

“And we’ll need to pack up.” Aspasia replied. “We’ll need some supplies, just in case.”

The trio fell quiet as they thought about the place that had been their home for an undefined length of time. Packing up old toys, eating the last of the food, putting all the movies away in boxes… leaving. Leaving, potentially for good.

It was a difficult thing to consider. Xerxes especially couldn’t bear the thought of packing away his toys and the other paraphernalia from his childhood bedroom.

“But we still have time, right?” he asked.

“A little, yes.” Min said. “Why do you ask?”

“Let’s watch a movie. Together.” Xerxes said.

Aspasia smiled. “I already know what we’re going to watch. I’ll go get it.”

She walked away, and Xerxes allowed himself a grin. Their last night, at the very least, would be a happy one.

Cause [2.2.9]
Cause [2.3.1]

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