Eris was never meant to be a mother.
It was the one thing that most of the pantheon agreed on. She was the bringer of discord and strife, wherever she went trouble followed and she didn’t care about the fallout. She was chaos given form and her world never differentiated between wrong and right.
She wasn’t meant to be a mother because the only person that she cared about was Ares and those who loved war could never raise something as innocent as child. That was what she’d been told over and over, the whispers following her as her stomach curved as if the others had just forgotten the children who’d been born from and into war.
It was funny because Eris had never particularly wanted to be a mother but the second that she felt the spark in her womb, the blossoming of a life that depended solely on her she knew that she’d never give it up.
She’d hidden herself away during her pregnancy, willing to work from behind the scenes as the child grew. Not because she was afraid, she wasn’t created to be afraid but because she was tired, all her energy streaming from her into the gaping maw that was the new God she was bringing into the world.
She’d let no one but the babe’s father attend to her during her labour and when he’d left them behind to return to his domain, she’d held the little boy in her arms and wondered how something so small could reach into her chest and rip her heart out.
She named him Erin because he was a part of her even when he was separated and she’d tried hard not to pout when Erin grew from babe to toddler in a few days, wide blue eyes taking in everything around him when she settled him on her hip and made for the War temple.
She knew what he was already, could feel the tendrils of his Godhood licking at hers and she wondered how she could be spilt in two and still feel more whole than she ever had in her life.
“Ma,” Erin whispered and Eris glanced down at him, following a tiny pudgy arm as Erin pointed at something.
Her eyes narrowed when she caught sight of Aphrodite. There would never be any love lost between her and the Goddess of Love but Erin wasn’t pointing at Aphrodite, he was pointing at the young God following behind her.
Cupid’s shoulder were hunched, the scowl painting his face making him look more like a part of war than love and Eris snorted because trust Aphrodite to be so wrapped up in her schemes to not even notice that her own kid was unhappy.
“Down,” Erin muttered and Eris set him at her feet, watching as little legs tried to find his balance and then he was off.
“Feders, feders, feders,” he muttered to himself as he powered across the space that separated him from his prey, arms spread to keep his balance.
Erin followed him at a distance because Erin needed to fall to learn but that didn’t mean it didn’t twist her heart every time her spark came from the pain of her own child.
Cupid finally noticed Erin when he was a few feet away and the teenage God frowned at him which caused Erin to draw up suddenly.
There was a fireball in Eris’ hand before she even realized it because Cupid would be a smear on the ground before he let Erin feel like he was any less.
The flame spluttered out when Cupid smiled at Erin.
“Hey, little guy,” he greeted, his wings lifting in what Eris had come to learn, from watching Ares, was curiosity.
“’res?” Erin asked, frowning when Cupid just stared at him, “Uncle ‘res feders?” he demanded.
Cupid blinked then grinned when he deciphered Erin’s code. “Yeah, I’ve got feathers like dad. Do you want to touch them?”
Eris could have said something but Erin was all but vibrating as Cupid turned around.
The sound that left Cupid was like a cat that’d had its tail stepped on. It was even loud enough to catch Aphrodite’s attention but Erin was already clutching his treasure to chest when Cupid rounded on him, a beatific smile plastered across his face.
“T’ank you,” he squeaked out and that was all his father because no one would ever accuse Eris of pleasantries.
“Ma, mine,” Erin shouted back as he made his return journey to her giggling madly when she floated him up into her arms.
She could feel the buzz he’d given himself from his little act of mischief and she stared down her nose at Aphrodite when the Goddess approached them.
“Cute kid,” Aphrodite offered up and Eris smirked because she knew that must have cost her.
“T’ank you, feders,” Erin called out again to Cupid and Cupid grinned even as he rubbed at his wing.
“You’re welcome?” he offered up, the words coming out as a question but they were enough for Erin because he settled back against Eris’ chest, humming to himself.
“He’s really cute, Aunt Eris,” Cupid added and this time Eris’ smile was more genuine.
“What can I say? I do good work,” she laughed, leaving them behind as she restarted her trip.
Ares had been demanding that she introduce the future Strife to the other War Gods and Goddesses and she didn’t want to keep him waiting…especially not now that Erin had figured out just how to get feathers for himself.
The thought had a mad cackle erupting from her and Erin giggled as he glanced up her.
“What are you laughing about?” Eris demanded playfully.
“Ma tickles,” Erin responded, “Ma happy, tickles,” he explained and Eris couldn’t help but press a kiss to the top of his head.
They were perfectly suited for each, discord and strife…Olympus wouldn’t know what had hit them especially if she had anything to say about it.
She’d wait until Erin was a little older to drop the bombshell of his full parentage on everyone.