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little sprout

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“You know, you’ve dropped by so often I still can’t believe I haven’t told you about how I met you the first time.”

You look up at Eurydice from the pomegranate you’re clumsily attempting to de - seed and frown at her, taking a moment to wipe the juice off your hands. “Before now? I’m sorry, I hadn’t realized we knew each other.”

“It’s alright, I’m not surprised you don’t remember. It was a long time ago now. Makes for a better story anyway. It was during my initial audience with your dad after, you know...” She pauses, setting aside the bowl of batter she’s stirring to run her fingers absently over the jagged snake bite scar on her arm.

“I was so nervous waiting at the back of that line, I just stared at the floor the whole time, but when I was called to the front I finally looked up and saw you. You were real little back then. ‘Just a sprout,’ like my mom used to say. Chubby cheeks and big bright eyes. There was a tiny chair for you but I don’t think I ever actually saw you sit in it. You’d go tearing back and forth across the room picking handfuls of leaves from the potted plants to give to people. Even the dog - you made him a little crown for each of his heads. It was sweet. Made me smile.”

You’re blushing heavily at this point and staring down at the kitchen table like it’s the most interesting thing in the world. Your family has never been the type for embarrassing childhood stories (not if they can’t be used as emotional leverage, anyway). Even Nyx, for all her warmth and kindness, has a level of distant formality that she maintains with you. You’re not used to this. It takes you a moment to recover, running a hand through your hair and offering a slightly strained laugh. “I imagine your impression of me has changed at least a little since then?”

She turns to you and squints, looking you up and down thoughtfully. An impish smile blooms across her face. “Nah,” she says finally. “You’re still a sweetheart. Now, if you’ll finish up with that pomegranate, I’ll be able to get this ready to bake and I can tell you about your dad’s old questionable fashion choices. I respect the man and his almighty power but there comes a point where there are just too many capes.”