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a thousand miles from comfort

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ambrosia/nectar -  The food of the gods; is able to cure almost any injury but is unattainable and lethal to mortals. Only for emergencies; an extreme overdose of nectar can burn the demigod to ashes.

"The Apollo kids will have to stitch it up when we get home," Kuroo states as he inspects his handiwork on Daichi’s trapezius, the bandage roll resting on his finger like an oversized ring, and he clicks his tongue at the patch of crimson that seeps through the white material. A sharp sting flares up Daichi's shoulder when he gives it an experimental roll. He chews on his lip to force down the lingering throb, his hand coming up to soothe the deep gash under the layer of bandages. Kuroo turns to rummage through his duffel bag, producing a flattened square of a treat and places it before Daichi’s mouth, his grimy and blood-streaked face glowing against the forest greens. His eyes are dancing with each lick of the burning campfire, crackling against the tips of ash on the firewood, and Daichi feels the fatigue and worry escape him in one bite. He sees Kuroo munch on the same square, dusting the crumbs off his lap with his good hand (his only hand, which he could have prevented), and Daichi allows the taste of copper to wash over his taste buds, his grip a vice over his open wound.

 

Camp Half-Blood - A secret training facility and sanctuary for young demigods around the world.

Home is what Daichi is to call the strawberry fields and the arrangement of cabins for the next three months, living under a roof along with the unclaimed and the unsatisfied. He is to call the unpleasant stench from the pegasus stables and the stone ovens of the forges home after fleeing his old one out of fear (his mother's wavy hair creating escape ropes on the edge of the overflowing bathtub), panic (but she never climbed out), and undefined guilt. The satyr who had rescued Daichi, shivering from the rain in an alleyway, informed him of the other young heroes that have taken shelter at what he is to label as home behind the protection of a pine tree that overlooks all of camp, which casts shadows on the Big House and the whole length of the volleyball court, granting peace to those who could find none outside of it. Here, where the flame burns gold and tickles the underbelly of the starry sky, the children of the gods (like him, just like him) sing without any sense of harmony, and Daichi finds home away from home.  

 

celestial bronze - A bronze metal formed by the god Hephaestus, also used as the weapon of choice for Greek heroes. Can kill immortals and monsters, but is harmless to mortals. 

"You really don't want me as your sparring partner again, I'm not that good," Kuroo insists as he adjust his wrist guards with a tug at the straps, and Daichi rolls his eyes at the underlying sarcasm in his tone. "Well, your performance at practice yesterday says otherwise," Daichi replies as he straps on his shoulder guards, recalling the way the son of Hermes pressed his knife dangerously close to his jugular vein, said weapon tucked into the sheath hanging off his hip. Kuroo treads towards the arena in front of him, the heat from the summer sun covering them like thick duvets, and he wipes the sweat forming on his upper lip with the back of his hand. Other campers occupy small pockets of the arena, some seated on the stands with cheers of encouragement. The clang of swords against shields and grunts of determination is a familiar setting to Daichi. Giving his breastplate one last dust-off, he pulls a pen from his pocket and uncaps it, and three feet of celestial bronze replacing the blue ballpoint. He hears an appreciative whistle from Kuroo as he pulls out the bronze knife, twirling it with practiced hands, and flashes him the same cocky smirk. Daichi grips the hilt of his sword in anticipation and flashes him a smile. "Your armor is crooked," he says to Kuroo, and the confusion is present in the slight knot of his eyebrows, so Daichi pounces.

 

demigod - A human/god hybrid who has one immortal (godly) parent and one human parent. 

There's a scream of rage that follows the blare of car alarms, and Daichi watches in horror as one sails over his head, landing on the boardwalk with a screech and crashing against a dumpster, reducing it to rubble. Blood roars in his ears and terror sinks into his bones. Rain blurs his vision but his muscles remember the way towards what he cannot resist. He stops at the edge of the cliff where the ocean calls his name, inviting him home, and the monster's cry is a far-off memory when he jumps, knees drawn up to his chest, and waits for the waves to cradle him once more. 

 

determined -  A term describing a demigod who is recognized to be an offspring of a particular god.

Cabin three is big, blue, and boring. The beds in the cabin match the number of fingers he has on one hand, and they are tidy and kept from years of vacancy. It's only natural, since he or any other siblings of his (he always gets a good laugh out of that) aren't even supposed to exist. The air is musty and dust covers every inch of the place, and a small cloud forms when Daichi discards the minotaur horn and his brand new weapon on the closest bed. The creek gurgles and the river nymphs wave shyly at him in the distance when he looks out the window, and there's a tug in his gut before he hears the crashing of waves against the shore beyond. He glances down on his chest, the bright orange fabric of the camp t-shirt staring back at him, and there's a fist clenched over where his heart is supposed to be.

 

drachma - Used for summoning the Gray Sisters and for Iris messages; the dead are required to use them to pay the ferryman, Charon.

Daichi twirls the cookie-sized golden coin between his fingers, and he offers a quick prayer to the goddess Tyche as he flips it up off his thumb, repeating please be tails please be tails  in his head. There's an arch of an eyebrow, the brief taunt of a sharp tongue, and a playful shove before the reveal of the helmet-covered head of a gladiator from under his hand. Daichi emits a defeated groan, and Kuroo hollers beside him from the top of his lungs as he pumps his fists in the air with triumph. "Pegasus clean up duty for a whole week was the deal, I believe," Kuroo jeers, one hand on his hip in proper victory fashion, and Daichi summons a sprout of water from a nearby puddle to wipe the smug expression off of his friend's face. "Whatever, it's no big deal," Daichi grins back, watching Kuroo wrinkle his nose in distaste, like a displeased (but still cute) cat. "I love spending time with the pegasi, anyway."

 

iris-message -  A type of video message that can be used to communicate with others by using a rainbow. The caller or receiver can end the Iris message by scattering the mist, disrupting the signal.

Nervous is one way to describe the clang of bronze shields against Daichi's ribcage, a crescendo of sound threatening to burst out into the open as he lets the drachma roll around the palm of his hand. The soft trickle of water in his personal marble fountain (a present from his dad for his 15th birthday, which feels so long ago) does little to calm his heart. The mist forming above the basin is enough for a small rainbow, just one quick call to check up on his partner (son of Hermes, bed hair, eleven centimetres of extra height), who is settled far far away from the strawberry fields and the stretch of sand where fireworks would colour the evening. He flicks the coin with his thumb towards the spectrum on the wall, watching it sink through and disappear with a ripple. "Oh Iris, goddess of the rainbow, accept my offering," Daichi manages. Here he stands: the savior of Olympus, at the mercy of one iris-message. "Kuroo Tetsurou, in Tokyo, Japan. And Bokuto, if you're helping out your mom again, please connect me right away this time."

 

mist - A type of magic or force that prevents mortals from seeing creatures, places or people from Greek mythology, such as gods and heroes; instead they see things that they would find normal. 

It's more than dangerous to enter his uncle's domain without permission or a prayer, but the sky is painted cerulean without a cloud in sight, the wind whistling in his ears as his pegasus tucks its wings against its body and dives nose-first towards the streets. Daichi shrieks in delight, thrill pulsing in his veins, and pulls on the mane of his pegasus, maneuvering in between lamp posts and intersections and leaving a trail of clutter with each beat of its dark wings. Mortals gape in disbelief at the sudden whirlwind that is Daichi, but he shouts and shouts until his pegasus slows to a trot, landing on a grassy hill at the edge of the city. He rolls off his ride, chest heaving and laughter gushing out of him like a fountain, and tosses his friend a sugar cube for his service. Thank you, lord, the horse whinnies. take that you had fun? (When Kuroo finds him later, covered in pegasus feathers and asking about a 'freak on a motorcycle', Daichi can respond with yes.)

 

Mount Olympus - The home of the 12 major Greek gods.

"Why didn't you do it?" Kuroo asks, his gaze fixed on the turquoise tint of the lake, and Daichi sees his father's eyes when he follows his line of sight. The water is bright and clear, a mirror image of the afternoon sky, and he lets out a chuckle at the thought of his uncle and father being on good terms for such fine weather. The dock is empty save for them, seated at the edge with pants rolled up and feet let down, and they create miniature rainbows with each swing of their feet. A dull ache resonates in his bones as he thinks back to his father's request atop the six-hundredth floor of the Empire State building, the one he longed to hear since being called the son of the sea god. But they're just boys, Daichi remembers, glancing at the reflection of Kuroo on the water's surface, and he can't always be a hero. "Because," Daichi answers finally, and he pretends not to see the tears. "I'd rather stay vulnerable if it means being able to stay here with everyone. With you."

 

prophecy - A verse which gives hints on events that are going to happen in future, frequently given by the Oracle. 

A chill crawls down Daichi's spine when he twists the doorknob open, his hands shaking as if they were the last leaves of autumn. He walks down towards the light at the end of the dimly lit staircase while words of the Oracle gnaws at his chest in ill omen. He sees Kuroo waiting at the gates, leaning against the brick-red posts, when he shuts the door to the Big House, and it's like he's carrying the sky all over again. "So when do we leave for this quest?" Kuroo inquires as they walk towards the cabins, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. Daichi wants to scream, to grovel, to plead, but no sound escapes him. "I would still go even if I knew I was going to die," Kuroo says, and tears trace the swell of Daichi's cheeks at his words. How could he let his partner, his friend, die for him? Because of him? "Even if you don't want me to. I don't care what the Oracle said. We'll come home, I promise." There's cinder blocks in his lungs, heart clenched in his fists, (he bleeds red, not gold, not like the gods and goddesses), and Kuroo holds him together while his fate threatens to break him apart. 

 

undetermined - A term describing a demigod that has not yet been claimed as the offspring of a particular god. 

Under the orange sky that meets the purple hues of the horizon (it's a familiar yet foreign feeling that stirs in his chest the longer he stares), Daichi approaches the ruckus and chaos of cabin eleven with caution. The door suddenly swings open, causing him to clutch the ballpoint pen just a tad tighter under his few mortal possessions. A boy his age with an identical orange shirt, unkempt hair, and a grin on his face that borders sincerity and mischief stands before him and his temporary quarters. "You must be the new guy who soaked Kyoutani from the Ares cabin in toilet water," he chuckles, and when he shakes Daichi's hand in greeting, it’s warm and welcoming, fitting right in between the dip of his palm. This encounter with this boy is the closest he's been to home. "And let me just say that I respect a stunt like that. I’m Kuroo."