AN: No, my friends, I am not dead. Instead of going on about me, here's a chapter instead.

"Ready?" Ward asked as we walked into the building.

"I guess," I said, straightening my red dress uncomfortably. This was my first time

wearing it, and it was still giving me some troubles.

Ward was wearing a nice shirt and dress pants, and we looked like we were on our way to a school dance. If my school happened to be populated with hundreds of super-powerful beings, many of whom wanted to kill me. Which it wasn't. So there.

We walked into the elevator and I looked around.

"Isn't there a doorman around here somewhere to press the button?" I asked, remembering what Willow had told me about her visit to Olympus.

Ward shrugged. "There was an incident with a nymph. Now it works on voice control. Like this. Mount Olympus please."

A voice came on the loudspeaker. "Flee, foul spawn of-"

It cut off abruptly and a new voice spoke. "Sorry about that. Going up."

The elevator started to rise, and I raised an eyebrow.

"Is that how they normally greet people?" I asked innocently. "Or is that your super special greeting?

He smiled. "It's a code. For 'Go away.' It's not very sneaky. I have to check in every couple months for evaluation, and every time I get a special greeting. Usually they involve profanity."

"What?" I asked. Why hadn't he mentioned this before? "What do you mean 'evaluation'?"

Ward glanced at the floor counter. Floor numbers 123, 124, and 125 flicked by slowly.

"It's nothing. They just see what I can do and search my memories to make sure I'm not planning any revolts. It's easy. Except for Artem-"

He stopped, but the damage was done.

"My mom participates in this? How did this happen?" I asked. I was already furious with my mom for what happened over Christmas, and this was making it worse.

Ward closed his eyes for a second and I could almost see the mental battle he went through. "It was right after school started. She wanted to... check up on you without you knowing, so she appealed to Zeus. He agrees that I was a potential threat and initiated the tests. Please don't turn this into another reason to fight."

I snorted. This was going to be a great party.

-/-/-/-/

The elevator opened, and I caught my first glimpse of Olympus from the outside.

It was breath-taking, and very noisy. Everywhere I looked there were gods and goddesses in various stages of intoxication, dancing to some music that was coming from nowhere. I had thought ahead and purchased 2 pairs of Immortal-Proof sunglasses from Hepatitis (the god, not the disease), so we didn't have to worry about our eyes burning out. Unless we saw Ares and Aphrodite making out. There is no protection for that.

Ward and I made our way to the main building, where the real party was going down.

After what felt like an hours walk, we finally made it to the front doors, and Ward, the gentleman, held the door for me as we walked inside.

Immediately, I was hit with a burst of music. Normally, I would have screamed and held my bleeding ears, but this wasn't too bad. In fact, it was exactly my style of music.

"Let's get some nectar before we talk to anyone," Ward said into my ear and motioned toward the refreshment table with his head.

I nodded, and grabbed a cup of nectar from the sparkling crystal bowl, which tasted good. Really good.

Then, I saw Apollo, dancing rather closely with someone who looked like she had wings.

Choosing to avoid that horribly awkward situation, I grabbed Ward's hand and lead him to a part of the dance floor that was near a wall and unoccupied, so we could go over the

game plan.

Of course, there was the usual small shock at contact, but I had slowly built up my immunity to it (by holding hands only, don't get excited) and it didn't bother me.

Ward leant in close and said, "Since he invited us, we should probably say hello to Zeus, and maybe Apollo, if he, ummm, disentangles himself from his friend. And should we say hi to your mom?"

I narrowed my eyes. "Yes. I would love to have a little talk with Artemis."

Ward sighed. "So, that's a no. Let's head this way."

He lead me through the dancing Olympians, and I kept an eye open for Artemis or Aphrodite.

We found Zeus sitting on his throne, entertaining a couple of the younger gods with a story, a story that he abruptly cut off when he saw Ward and I approaching.

I curtseyed respectfully as Ward bowed, and he talked to Zeus about... something while I scanned the crowd for Artemis.

"Maybe Emily would like to go get a drink," Zeus suggested after I had stood there looking bored for about ten minutes. The finer workings of teleportation were boring to someone who can't teleport. Ward said he could, but I told him that stopping time and walking doesn't count.

I smiled my thanks, and headed over to the drink stand. The nectar really was delicious.

After my fourth cup, I started to feel a buzzing in my stomach.

A little voice in the back of my head warned me to stop drinking, but the pulsing music and sound of people laughing and talking made me settle into a strong sense of security. I had another glass.

Then, I saw Artemis enter.

Now, before you wonder why I was tiffed at Artemis (this time), I'll explain. This Christmas, in honor of it being my first Christmas with a mother, I sent her a little joke gift. It was a picture of the moon landing, and it had the caption "Man on the Moon: Don't worry. You still have huntin- Oh wait..." Artemis, shockingly, didn't get my humor. In fact, she responded by making me go blind for the rest of Christmas break.

So, I had planned my telling off beforehand, even practicing my speech to tell her off in

an intelligent and eloquent manner.

I had not, however, planned on stumbling over to her and shouting "Since men landed on the Moon, does that mean you broke your vow twice?" which sounded brilliant to my nectar-clouded mind.

Artemis, however, did not appreciate my brilliance, and shot a beam of energy at me that sent me flying backwards, into the refreshment table.

The bowl holding the nectar shattered, and I felt the shards slice into my back.

The nectar started seeping into the cuts, and then started to burn.

My vision went spotty, and I hazily wondered if my meeting with my vampire in-laws was going well.

Then, the burning reached my heart, and I collapsed into the broken glass and blacked out.

-/-/-/-/-/-/

I awoke sometime later to the faint sound of music and voices. I also awoke to a very odd feeling in my stomach.

Glancing around, I noticed that I was in a room with thick clouds for walls. I also noticed that Ward was sitting by my bed and he had his eyes closed and he was muttering something.

I jerked my hand, and noticed that no part of me hurt. Shocking.

Ward looked up, and breathed a sigh of relief.

"Emily?" he said, looking at me warily for some reason.

I shook my head, using my innocent face. "Who's Emily?"

He frowned at me for a second and stared deep into my eyes. "Artemis."

I involuntarily twitched with anger, and a hot sensation spread throughout my body.

"Don't scare me like that." Ward said, since my reaction revealed my absence of memory loss. "How are you... feeling?"

His tone confused me. "Fine. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you're kinda glowing. Almost like you're a-"

Bam!

The door slammed open and two Olympians came in, one against her will.

Zeus, who was dragging Artemis by her arm, stood and looked at me for a second, narrowing his eyes.

Artemis wouldn't make eye contact, but just her presence made my vision go blurry with rage. I saw Ward scoot away out of the corner of my eye.

"Artemis, what have you done?" Zeus thundered, apparently finishing his examination. "Do you see what she is now?"

I glanced down at myself. Except for a faint glow, I didn't see any horrible deformities that would make me the abomination Zeus's tone implied.

Artemis glanced quickly at Zeus. "It's possible this is just a side effect. It doesn't mean

she's totally a-"

"Only one way to find out." he said, scowling. He snapped his fingers, and I was lifted in the air.

He snapped his fingers again, and I was slammed into the nearest wall with enough force to knock an elephant unconscious (or so I'm guessing).

Normally, this would be the part where I cleverly (...I wish) alluded to swearing, but I didn't feel a thing. Stunned, I stood up and dusted the rubble off my dress, which was still in remarkable shape.

Artemis and Zeus winced and Ward gaped at me. Knowing I couldn't yell at Zeus for the stunt he just pulled, I glanced at the wall. There was an Emily-shaped dent in it, which is pretty hard to do in a wall made of clouds.

"You're a goddess," Ward said simply, still gaping at me.

I smiled at him awkwardly. "Most girls would take that as a compliment, but I prefer 'Empress of the Universe.' But that's still sweet."

He snorted and shook his head. "Emily, I mean a real goddess. You're immortal. Just look at the wall, and the way you are glowing. It's golden."

Sure enough, I did have a faint golden tinge to my skin. I turned to calmly face Zeus, and then it hit me. I'M A GODDESS?

"Yes, you are a goddess. What would you like to have domain over? You can have part of Artemis's power if you wish, since it's her fault you're here." Zeus said, shooting daggers at Artemis, who looked horrified.

Now, since I got to know the Olympians, I had always dreamed of becoming a immortal. Never dying, staying young forever, shape shifting, not being terrified of Artemis or Ares or Aphrodite, man. This is going to be good. And here is Zeus, offering me part of Artemis's kingdom. Should I take the Moon or hunting...

A vision of me sitting on the Moon, basking in it's power, being the most powerful being on Earth appeared before my eyes, before it was replaced with the vision of Artemis fighting Ares and Aphrodite, dripping in ichor, while Thalia laid unconscious nearby. It had been almost a year, but the guilt continued to make me feel like a sack full of horrible romance novels. Without the romance. And the novels. Never mind, bad metaphor.

Still struggling mentally to do the right thing, I said quickly "I would like to be the goddess of gnomes please."

Artemis, who had been staring at the ground, looked up swiftly, apparently shocked that I could choose to be a good person.

Zeus stared at me for a second as if checking to make sure I was serious. When I continued to look at him calmly, he smiled a little. "And so it shall be. You are hereby deemed the Protector and Gatherer of Gnomes. Enjoy your... powers?"

We all laughed for a second, and I tried to stop myself from requesting the Moon.

Then Zeus turned to Artemis.

"Now, you need to be punished. Blasting another guest across the room and almost killing them is horribly inappropriate. I can't ignore this anymore. You have left me no choice. I am hereby stripping you of your Olympian powers, including immortality until further notice. Maybe having to actually watch your step will change the way you behave."

Artemis and I gasped. "Father, you can't! You know full well how quickly my enemies will kill me! If you want me dead, do it yourself."

I widened my eyes. Even I thought she was acting rashly, and that's coming from the person who faked a heart attack to win an archery contest.

Zeus glared at her for several seconds before shaking his head. "You can't talk your way out of this one. I'll give you a mental connection to Emily, but that's it. You'll be in her mercy for once." he snapped his fingers, and I suddenly found myself hearing another voice. It was spewing endless streams of profanity, so I assumed it was Artemis.

I turned to look at her with the biggest smirk I had ever possessed. "Do you talk to your mother with that language, Arty?"

Even though I knew she couldn't hurt me, I took a small step back when her eyes flashed red. Zeus sighed and walked out of the room, motioning for Ward to come with him.

As soon as the door closed, Artemis turned to glare at me. "Go ahead."

Pausing in the process of sitting down, I turned to look at her. "Go ahead with what?"

"Your revenge. Just get it over with." she spat, looking at the ground.

My heart hurt a little bit when I heard the raw terror in her thoughts, but then she started to think in Greek, and I couldn't understand. "I'm not going to hurt you."

"Of course you are. You tried to several times before you even had powers."

I winced and shook my head. "That only happened after you tortured me for hours on end. I'm not going to hurt you. Unless you set me on fire or something."

She looked up at me skeptically, obviously expecting me to be as awful as she was.

"Well, I'm going to head home. See you later." I stood up, and paused.

I have no idea how to teleport.

Turning to Artemis with an embarrassed half-smile, I asked "How exactly do I teleport?"

"If you take me with you, I'll teach you how to be a goddess." she offered.

I snorted. "Aren't you still afraid that I'm going to turn all insane on you? Why do you want to come with me?"

"Better you than Ares." she muttered, but I caught it with my Olympian hearing of awesomeness.

I smiled sympathetically at her, knowing it would drive her insane. "It's okay, Artemis. I'll protect you."

A muscle in her jaw twitched, and I could barely contain my gleeful grin. This was going to be fun.

"Imagine yourself at wherever you want to be, and command the air to take you there. But first, calm down enough to stop glowing," Artemis ordered. Rolling my eyes, I complied, and she grabbed my elbow

I concentrated on my living room, and I felt a overwhelming sense of power sweep through my veins. Then, there was a lurching sensation, and I was in my house. My dad's briefcase was on the table, so I knew he was home.

Artemis had let go of me, and she looked like she wanted to throw up. "That was... much faster than I expected. Maybe you were onto something with your gnomes. Do you have one here?"

I gestured at the gnome above the mantelpiece. "Chompsky's a member of this family."

"Weird." she said. "So, let's head outside. The sooner you get training, the better."

Curious, I followed her outside.

It was getting dark, and we walked almost to the back of my acre-long yard before she turned around, and flicked a dagger at me.

Normally, it would have pierced me like something that pierces a lot (I'm tired, okay?), but my hand shot up and a beam of energy disintegrated it before it could scratch me.

While I was doing a victory dance to celebrate my new dose of awesomeness, I didn't notice that she had drawn a second dagger, which she proceeded to throw into my arm.

Immediately, my arm started pulsing, and the wind around me seemed to pick up.

Artemis fell on her knees and covered her eyes as my slight control over my glowing faded away. My heart almost burst with anger, and I could tell that I was glowing even brighter than before. And it felt great.

"Stop!" she yelled, and I could barely hear her. "Control yourself! Be stronger than the pain!"

Suddenly, through her thoughts, she showed me an image of my dad, who was still in the house. If I hurt him, I would never forgive myself.

The wind stopped, and I focused my rage on the blade imbedded in my arm. It immediately disintegrated, and I let loose a little (but still embarrassing) "Woop!" of joy.

My arm wound, instead of healing like I expected, continued to leak a golden substance that was much less cool when it was coming from me.

"How do I heal?" I asked Artemis, panicking when the trickle of ichor became a stream.

She shrugged. "Do what seems natural."

"That's screaming profanity at the top of my lungs," I said with a sarcastic smile. "Just tell me what you do!"

I had started to glow unconsciously, and I saw Artemis take a wary step back, which is exactly what I would have done BI (Before Immortality).

Sighing in frustration, I normalled down. "Sorry. Now could you please explain how to stop this river of golden blood from leaving my body?"

"Focus on the wound, and will it to close. Now that you're a goddess, everything will obey you, including your own body. I find that talking helps."

Feeling slightly ridiculous, I spoke to my arm. "Come on little guy. You don't want to bleed. You can heal now. Don't worry, I won't let the big bad dagger hurt you again."

To my eternal (because I'll be around for that long now) surprise, the wound closed up.

I turned to Artemis with a slightly manic grin. "Teach me everything."

-/-/

At first, learning was difficult, but by the time the sun started to rise, I could teleport, heal, shoot bursts of energy, summon a sword out of nowhere, levitate a little, speak a little Greek (mostly profanity), and move super quickly. It only took about 6 hours and 2 broken trees.

We headed inside, and Artemis collapsed on the couch, but I was too jazzed up to even think about resting.

I teleported myself to a nearby hill, and laughed when I didn't even feel chilly. Being a goddess is great!

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I could do anything I wanted. In history class, we had watched a very exciting (*snort*) movie about the pyramids, and I decided to go on a little trip.

Remembering what Artemis had told me, I focused on willing myself to the pyramids.

The usual vacuum feeling returned, but it felt a lot different when I was actually in control, because I knew I could jump out at any moment and end up in a brand new place.

I popped into real life, and realized I made a horrible mistake (not as bad as Artemis's).

Instead of teleporting myself to the space in front of a pyramid, I had teleported myself to the top of a pyramid.

I had just enough time to open my mouth to swear before I slipped and fell down the side.

Learning to find the slant height of a pyramid in Geometry didn't help my current predicament, so I felt slightly ripped off.

I thudded on my face, then my back, then my face, and so on, for what seemed like an interminable amount of time.

52 bounces before I hit the bottom. 52 pronking bounces.

Laying on the ground, I felt an overwhelming since of gratitude that nobody had seen my little tumble.

I got to my feet with a groan, and teleported myself home, put on some sweats, and collapsed in my bed. Being a goddess is hard.

-/-/-/

Emily!

I jolted awake, like I had heard someone call my name.

Emily! Come to the living room. Now!

Too lazy to walk, I teleported myself there, only to feel a lump of dread fall into my stomach.

For the second time, Ares and Aphrodite were in my living room, but this time I had to actually do something.

"So, you finally became a goddess? Excellent. I've been needing a new playmate." Ares said, smiling his usual (AKA predatory) smile at me. Aphrodite rolled her eyes and flicked her fingers at Artemis, who was currently being held immobilized in midair, and by the profanity running through her thoughts, it wasn't pleasant for her.

Without a clever comment (hey, it was only noon!), I shot energy at Ares, hoping to catch him off guard.

Instead, he absorbed the energy, and send a wave of force at me, which pinned me to the wall, along with most of my furniture.

I tried to teleport, but the force crushing me was too great.

"I see you never worked on defense. Allow this to be your first lesson." Ares said, unable to resist showing off even now. "When I do this,"

He raised his hand and then bent his fingers slightly. To my horror, a pressure seemed to emanate from the bones themselves, and my spine started to bend, painfully.

"Your body obeys the stronger force. Which is, and always will be me.

My vision started to go spotty, but I didn't lose consciousness, unfortunately. I tried to push his force out with my own, but, it didn't work.

"That was a nice try," Ares said condescendingly. "but no dice. Maybe next time, you'll think twice before challenging a real Olympian." As he spoke, he bent his hand more and more, until my bones began to crack, and listening to him became rather hard. "So, here's what's going to happen. I'm going to break you, then send you into Tartarus for the first time. Then, I'm going to take Artemis, and torture her every day for the rest of eternity. I'll keep her alive, just for that, so don't think it'll be short. And lastly, once you reincarnate, Aphrodite is going to have Eros shoot you, and you will fall in love with the most disgusting, awful man we can find. Probably our son Anteros. So, you have that to look forward to."

The dread in my stomach was growing bigger and bigger until I could hardly breathe. If I wasn't being held against the wall, I would have been shaking down to my toes.

Ares took a step toward me and unclenched his hand, and I gasped for air.

"What? No witty comment? I'm surprised." Aphrodite piped in, contributing (in her usual pointless, useless, and skanky way) to the conversation for the first time.

I shrugged, with difficulty. "I'm just wondering how you are going to handle your jealousy. Ares obviously doesn't want you around, since he clearly prefers Artemis's company. Someone's been replaced..." I trailed off, relishing the anger in her face.

Before I could continue to antagonize her, I saw Ares walking toward me with what seemed to be a bronze whip.

Terror filled my mind, and then I heard Artemis shout at me thorough the link.

Explode! Now!

Without thinking, I reached into the terror and released all of it.

Immediately, I felt like I was exploding into little pieces. Pain wracked my body, and I used that pain to fuel my explosion.

My vision became a solid screen of bright white, and I collapsed in the most pain I had ever felt.

-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-

"Emily, wake up." I heard a somewhat familiar voice say impatiently. "It's Artemis."

At the sound of her name, I opened my eyes for a second and then closed them. I was too tired to deal with my crazy mother.

"She's dying. And you almost destroyed a city and yourself."

"What?" I exclaimed, jumping to my feet. "How?"

The events of yesterday flashed through my mind, and I winced.

Apollo was standing next to me, and for the first time I looked around to see where I was.

It wasn't an Olympian room, and there were two beds. One was mine, and one had a horribly disfigured...

"Artemis?" I gasped, rushing over to kneel by her bed.

She had cuts all over her face her arms had horrible bruises. Even her soul looked broken.

"I can't fix it. " Apollo said in despair. "I don't have enough power in reserve and I can't give all of mine. She's going to die."

I had never seen the Sun god cry before, but he did now, in abundance. His usually perfect golden hair was messed up, and he looked like he hadn't slept in a while.

Feeling hopeless, I stared at her for several moments before it occurred to me.

"Can you take my power? I don't need immortality." I offered, for some unknown reason.

Apollo's jaw dropped, and I wanted to take my words back. But when I looked at a horribly bruised Artemis, I knew I couldn't.

"Are you sure? Being a goddess is a lot to give up," Apollo pointed out, half-heartedly. He cared about Artemis even more than I did.

I nodded, and he grabbed my arm. He laid his other one on Artemis's forehead.

Immediately, I felt a major draining emanating from my arm, and it was all I could do to not yank it away.

"Sorry for the whole 'I'm kinda stealing your soul,' thing." he apologized, but I couldn't respond.

Even as I looked, the glow started to fade from my body and return to Artemis's. I had to cover my eyes at the glow, and I felt my strange source of energy dissipate from my heart.

Suddenly, with a gasp, Artemis woke up and jumped to her feet.

The last of my awesomeness left, and I collapsed back on the bed I woke up on.

"What happened?" Artemis asked, having random sparks shooting from her skin. One ignited a nearby table, but this didn't seem like the time to mention it. "How did this happen?"

While Apollo explained the course of events, I tried to adjust for my lack of strength. Even standing up had become 1000 times more difficult.

"Emily." Artemis addressed me, bringing me out of my complaining thoughts. "Why?"

She didn't have to explain what she meant, so I didn't ask her to.

"I can't fight Ares on my own," I lied, unable to vocalize the truth.

Artemis opened her mouth probably to demand a real answer, but seemed to rethink it. "Well, thanks."

A hug didn't seem an appropriate thank-you for someone giving up immortality, so we stood awkwardly, until Zeus walked in.

He looked at me, obviously mortal, and Artemis, obviously not, and just shook his head. "I'll get the story later. Artemis, I hereby restore your full powers and privileges to you. I hope this was a good lesson to you. Emily, since you willingly gave it up, I'm guessing, I can't return your immortality. Sorry. Now, how about getting you home..."

He snapped his fingers, and I shot through space. Becoming mundane was actually very tiring, so I barely had enough energy to get up from the couch and turn my PlayStation on.

The opening screen for Dragon Age 2 (Dynasty Warriors 7 is in the mail) appeared, and I sighed. Back to being the same old boring human with the same old boring life.

I had played for about ten minutes when my front door opened and Ward walked in, wearing khakis and a green polo.

He sat down and raised an eyebrow, and I explained everything to him (leaving out the little pyramid escapade.)

Nodding every now and then to show that he was paying attention, he took the news of my adventures in silence.

Then, when I was finished, he stood up and walked over to me.

"Maybe it's a good thing you aren't a goddess," he said, smiling a smile I had never seen before. "because this would be totally inappropriate."

He leant down and kissed me. My heart did a confusing stutter-step routine, but that's not what I was focusing on, if you catch my drift (if so, you should play softball. Pity laugh, anyone?).

Maybe things do change after all.

He sat on the couch next to me, and reached for my hand. The second we made contact, a literal spark traveled between us, and I winced and let go.

Then again, maybe not.

AN2: In honor of the 2-year anniversary of my little story, I thought I would revive my story from the grave, only for one chapter. Sorry the writing isn't on par, but my English teacher used up all my good writing. So, for the final time (for real this time, maybe), thank you and gods bless. P.S. You should check out my friend Turtlefoot's story.