Fate doesn't work that way

It started with three drunk gods, and one drowning mortal. It snowballed into a quest for destiny with bound gods, sky prisons, mazes of death, and far too many disasters.

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2. Three strikes and an angry friend

 

“KANAT!”

    He’d been ready for this eventuality, but it still made him flinch to hear his name yelled. He knew what he’d done wrong. Who didn’t?

    He refused to appear frightened. He had a reputation to keep, after all. So he held his head high, expression in a cheerful smirk. The primordials would hate that. Might as well spit in their faces before they punished him.

    He strode through the shining halls of the primordials. Why had they chosen to make their section a building? There was no substitute for the fresh air of the great outdoors. Then again, the primordials were strange. They weren’t really gods. They were kind of… above gods. They were the ones that had been there at the beginning. All the gods were their descendants.

    Kanat paused at the door of what the other gods called the ‘trial room’. What was he going to say? Could he convince the primordials to withdraw punishment? No, that was ridiculous. They never went easy on someone who’d broken the ancient laws.

    He cursed himself as he stood there. What had he been thinking?! He’d said he’d never see the girl again! He’d been so careful, but it had just… happened. The first time, he’d just been trying to help. She was going to drown! The second time was an accident. He hadn’t meant to affect her life. He’d been so careful. But he’d accidentally affected her again, and made a terrible mistake. His third time had been to fix that mistake. No one deserved to suffer for a god’s carelessness. Maybe they’d accuse him of being all soft towards mortals. He couldn’t argue with that. Next to the constant rivalries and battles of gods, humans were just so… refreshing.

    He went to open the door, and found his hand frozen in place. He sighed, turning his head to see Jinea approaching him.

    Her eyes were red. Had she been crying? She released his hand, and threw her arms around him. He froze in shock, before forcing himself to smirk. No fear. Don’t start crying. You might not see her again for a long time, but do not cry!

    “I didn’t realize you loved me so much,” he remarked. “Competition with Nith getting fierce?”

    She hit him in the back of the head, but didn’t stop hugging him. After an awkward stretch of silence, he awkwardly put his arms around her.

    “You idiot!” she hissed. “The primordials don’t like you. You know they’ve never approved of how you act, and now you’re just walking straight into a punishment from them. Why did you have to mess with that mortal’s life?!”

    “I mess with the lives of lots of mortals,” he shrugged. “I mean, the sheer number of affairs that I’ve had with mortals-”

    “This is different! This isn’t having an affair, this is just meddling. You changed that poor girl’s life drastically. You know we’re not supposed to interfere with the destinies of mortals. If that girl was supposed to drown at sea, who knows what kind of trouble you caused by saving her!”

    “Jinea, if you’re just here to tell me everything I did wrong, then please disentangle yourself from me. I’m about to have the primordials do that, though I imagine there’ll be a lot less hugging.”

    She let go of him, eyes narrow. “You think you can spit in the faces of the primordials, Kanat? Your father would find that amusing.”

    He found himself flushing with frustration. “My father finds most things I do amusing. I imagine I’m a good source of entertainment for him.”

    She sighed, crossing her arms. “Fine. I’m done saying goodbye. Now go find our your punishment you insufferable idiot.”

    “Saying goodbye? I’m not going anywhere.”

    “You know that’s a lie.” There were tears in her eyes! Kanat started to feel guilty. He might be a troublemaker, but he hated causing others distress. Unless, of course, he didn’t like them. Then causing distress was his pleasure and sacred duty.

    He sighed. “Then this is goodbye for now. Is Nith here too, to slap some sense into me?”

    “She’s doing her best to keep a cool head, and that involves not speaking to you. You broke the laws. Nith knows you have to be punished.”

    “And you don’t?”

    “I never cared much for rules either.” Her voice was choked with emotion. “Just… don’t spite them, Kanat. Don’t make them mad. For me? Please?”

    He sighed. “Fine. Just this once. But don’t expect me to make it into a habit or anything.”

    She smiled, and his eyes narrowed. “Hold on a second! Don’t tell me that whole tearful crying act was just to get me to promise not to be stupid.”

    Her silence was answer enough. He let out a theatrical groan. “And here I was, thinking you were actually worried about me…”

    “I am. What you did was reckless and stupid. But…” she gave him one more quick hug. “Be careful in there. The primordials don’t like you. And don’t forget, you promised me.”

    She vanished in a whirlwind as the doors swung inward without a sound.

    He considered breaking his promise to Jinea and barging through the doors like a storm, but decided against it. That was stupid. Even if she’d just been tricking him, he had promised. And as a promise to a friend, that meant something.

    He walked forwards, and into the room.

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