it's you who'll climb the mountain

Maturity warning: language, references to violence.

Adrenaline coursed through Thoth’s veins, heightening his senses and giving him a rush of satisfaction. That most self-righteous of thoughts, why shouldn’t I be angry, always locked hold whenever he tried to self-calm. Anger felt good, at least in the moment. It brought the blood shooting to his head, focused his mind, expressed clearly the sheer injustice the world had committed. Before Arthur’s death, Thoth had been making concerted efforts to try and manage his temper; since the murder, however, his fury felt increasingly deserved. Maybe it didn’t make anything better, but it made him feel better. It released some of the pent-up steam which made his head ache.

However, anger could flee just as quickly as it came, and the emotions it left in its destructive wake were rarely positive. The heat dissipated as his he registered on his friends’ faces one of the few emotions which he could nearly always identify accurately: fear. They were scared of him.

Even as Cypress just started to speak, Thoth dropped his eyes to the floor, unwilling to see it. His face screwed up in an ugly mix of confusion, shame and hurt, and the immobile shower of water fell gently back to earth. Cypress’s words were equal parts reassuring (at least they still liked him) and embarrassing. He’d come along to protect her, and because of his temper, he’d nearly gotten them all in serious trouble.

Thoth being Thoth, of course, completely missed what she really meant about liking him in a different way to Danny.

He exhaled a little deeper than usual, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a hug which was tight, deep with feeling… and purely platonic.

“I like you too,” he reassured her, in a tone and volume which were both relatively close to normal. It occurred to him that they were both soaked to the skin.

He pulled back, frowning, and brought his hands together as if in prayer. Concentrating on the droplets of water clinging to their bodies, he thrust his hands apart again. All of the external water on the pair of them flew off their bodies, leaving them both bone dry. The expelled liquid hovered for a moment in the air, surrounding them with another paused rainfall, until Thoth twisted his wrists and compressed it all into a cube. The flood around their feet retracted, flowing up into the air to swell the cube. Thoth frowned at it, scratching the back of his head. That was quite a lot of water.

Moving his hands apart, he split the cube in half and caused one half to dissipate, vanishing completely into the air. The other half shifted and reformed, transforming itself into the shape of a huge, fluffy dog which loosely resembled a Newfoundland. The water-dog spun around on the spot, chasing its tail a couple of times, before standing to attention. Thoth jerked his head and it bounded off into one of the kennels, throwing and rubbing itself cheerfully against the sides and floor. Dirt and dog hair were washed off the kennel and swallowed up by the water-dog, which finished cleaning the first one and swiftly moved on to the second.

“Sorry too.” He muttered, and pointed at the lock on the door. It froze over, effectively locking the kennel master out. Now he couldn’t come in and Danny and Cypress didn’t have to be scared of being caught with an outlaw anymore. “But you can’t stay working here.” He folded his arms and leant back against one of the kennel doors, ignoring the Newfoundland sloshing around behind him. “There’s nothing that asshole can teach you about how to properly look after dogs. Besides, you already have all the knowledge you need to get going. You should start your own kennels. I’ll help you.”

photo by Patrick Lewis at flickr.com


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