Touka is one of the most empathetic characters in the whole damn manga. Shuu and his father are alive because of her, part of the reason that Ken was even able to break Hinami out of cochlea was because of her, Re: was built for Ken to have a place to return to after anteiku’s destruction because of her, Amon approached Akira because of her, and Akira was able to reconcile with Hinami and change some of her opinions on ghouls because of her. All of this happened because she cared enough to help. She even helped people who had harmed and wronged her previously.
And yet some of ya’ll still want to act as though she’s the most evil character in the series and not a complex character with flaws just like damn near everyone else in this manga.
I just read everything in your gods and monsters series and wow I am in awe. I am absolutely blown away by your writing it's beautiful the Icarus one had me staring at a wall for ten minutes afterwards absorbing what I'd just read. anywhoozle, I love everything you've written and not to rush or pressure you or anything but I was wondering if perhaps we could get more of the greek mythology stories?
First is the sea. He’s
loved her his whole life, heard her siren song from the time he had long curly
hair and still tolerated being put in dresses and called a girl. He loves the
sea like his parents go to temple, in an unmovable and inexplicable way that he
no longer questions.
Second is Poseidon. Foolish,
but so achingly kind. He’s a man who professes his wish to master the sea
without ever really understanding it, and Caeneus smiles and kisses the stress
lines from his brow but does not worry.
The sea has never loved
him back, and it never will. She is power and coldness and loss, and her beauty
is in her tragedy. Poseidon is warmth and thoughtfulness and strong hands on
his hips. He is nothing like the sea, and he will never rule it.
Caeneus knows this, and
he’s relieved by it. Poseidon loves him back. Poseidon is not the sea.
Then he wakes up to his
lover’s lips on his neck, cold enough that flinches away from the sensation,
and for a terrifying moment he doesn’t recognize the person touching him as the
man he loves.
“I can do it now,” he whispers,
and cool fingers splay against his waist, “I can make you the man you want to
Caeneus wants the body
that men usually have, wants people to stop looking at him and seeing a woman.
But if Poseidon had asked, he would have told him – Caeneus would choose his
lover over a new body, would rather live as he does now than have Poseidon harm
himself for his benefit.
But he did not ask, so
Caeneus closes his eyes and accepts the gift his lover is so eager to give him.
Amphitrite has never had
a heart before.
She was the sea, and what
she desired, she took. Men, women – she wanted, and she had, and then she moved
But the heart in her
chest is softer, warmer. It turns her pearl hued skin pink and makes her swim
to the surface to watch the sun set, makes something like empathy stir inside
her when before all she had was selfishness.
The heart in her chest is
in love, and she thought it was something she could control, something she
could stop. It’s not. It will be one day, when she masters this heart in her
chest, but not yet. She spends hours following Caeneus as he sails her seas,
guides fish into his net and feels her borrowed heart beat that much faster
whenever he pears into the ocean and she catches sigh of his gorgeous amber
So she says to Poseidon, “You
spend too much time on the shore for a god of the sea.”
He glances at her, and
his eyes are green just like hers, are cold and uncaring just like hers used to
be. She wonders what her eyes look like now. “Caeneus is on the shore.”
“Bring him here if you’re
so concerned with your mortal,” she says, focusing on weaving shells into her
hair and giving the impression that she couldn’t care less what he does with
his mortal plaything. “The palace is big enough.”
He stops and turns to
her, eyebrow raised. “You do not mind me bringing him here?”
“Do with your mortal as
you wish,” she repeats, and stamps down on the trembling joy in her chest, “It’s
no concern of mine.”
Caeneus doesn’t know how
to love a god of the sea. He knew how to love Poseidon – take him onto the
water to watch the sunrise, feed him warm, sweet drinks, and let him curl
around him at night and listen to his stories of his siblings, of impossible
gods who do impossible things.
But now he sits in a
palace under water, with his own room and the freedom to see the other side of
the ocean he loves so dearly. There are no sunsets here, no cocoa to barter
for, and Poseidon doesn’t tell him stories any more.
Poseidon still loves him.
He kisses him and holds his hips when they sleep together and keeps him by his
side while he crosses the sea and gains more and more control over this domain
that he now commands. Poseidon still loves him, he tells himself when he itches
to return to the surface and the home Poseidon build for him, and the life he
built for himself.
He didn’t want to be a
consort of the king of sea. He just wanted to be Caeneus, a man who loved a man
and was loved in return, a man who loved the sea even though it would never
love him back.
The sea will never love
him back. He’s known that since he was a child, so the real question is – how much
of the Poseidon he knew is left, and how much of him the depths of the ocean?
There’s a hurricane that
requires her husband’s attention, and even he is not so foolish as to bring his
lover to a place as dangerous as that. Which means it’s the perfect time for
her to run into him in the interior gardens, as he stares up through the iridescent
seaweed to the rays of sunlight that just manage to penetrate the water. “Do
you miss it?” she asks him, and he startles, swinging around to face her and
“My lady!” he says, and
falls to his knees before her, bowing his head. It’s what she expects of all
mortals, but not from him, never from him. The heart in her chest loves him,
and if it’s not her heart, well – the
rest of her doesn’t know the difference. “A thousand apologies.”
“You are welcome here,”
she says, and smiles. She’s never smiled quite like this before, she’s never
felt quite like this before, fond and fluttery and so painfully eager that it
would be embarrassing if she ever dared articulate it. It’s a wonder Poseidon
managed to get anything done at all if this is what he had in his chest.
He looks up, hesitant,
and she holds out her hand. He takes it, and she pulls him to his feet, pulls
him closer until they’re nearly touching and he’s forced to look up into her
eyes or be stuck staring at her chin. He’s warmer than her, she can feel the
heat pouring off him in waves, and she wants him to hold her in his arms so she
can languish against him like she would a sun-warmed rock.
Before she had a heart, she
took who and what she wanted, when she wanted it.
Now she has a heart, and
she takes his hands in both of hers and says, “Would you like to visit the
surface? I can take you, and bring you back before my husband returns.”
He’s hesitant because he’s
afraid of her. Caeneus will never love her, because although she holds the
heart he loves she is not the person the heart belongs to. Not that he knows
any of that, not that anyone will ever know the details of her and Poseidon’s
arrangement. But she doesn’t want Caeneus to be afraid of her. She wants him to
smile at her like she is a sunrise. “Yes, please,” he decides on finally.
She stands and watches as
he walks through his home, as he touches the hearth and looks longingly at the
bed, as he stands in the small cottage that he clearly prefers over her palace,
over all the riches and adoration that comes with being consort to the sea.
Caeneus is a simple man, whose
heart loves with a simple love.
He is a man whose heart
loves someone who now has no heart, and Amphitrite can’t bring herself to tell
him. She’s the one who took it away, and she won’t give it back.
She likes having a heart,
and one day she will need to return it, but not now, not yet, not for a long
Caeneus lies besides Poseidon,
curled up so his head rests on the god’s outflung arm and he can watch his chest
rise and fall as he sleeps. There are bruises on Caeneus’s hips and down his
chest, bite marks on his shoulder and up his neck. It’s not the first time his
lover has been rough with him, and he doesn’t mind, like that Poseidon doesn’t
touch him like he’s afraid he’ll break, likes that whenever he’s rough he’s
careful enough with his strength not to ever cross the line from bruising to
It’s different than it
used to be. It’s been different for a long time, ever since Poseidon somehow
convinced the Lady to hand over her title as monarch, to share her power with
him for no reason that Caeneus can see. It’s not love between them, because the
sea does not love. But she got something out of it, something valuable enough to
bargain away part of her power, and as soon as she did the man Caeneus loves
ceased to exist.
He slides out of bed and angrily
rubs at his eyes. He can’t do this anymore, can’t sleep and live with this man
who has his lover’s face and memories and nothing else.
He knows this palace
well, and everyone else knowns him too. The servants don’t question him, only
offer shallow bows before hurrying on his way. He’s a fisherman who lives on
the outskirts of society. He’s not any sort of person that people were meant to
bow to. He stands in front of an ornate set of carved doors, the beautiful
shimmering inside of a muscle shell of impossible size. Two guards stand at
each door, but neither move to stop him as he pushes it open and slips inside.
“Lady?” he whispers. Large,
bioluminescent carvings flare to life all across the room, bathing them in soft
golden-green light. Amphitrite pulls herself out of bed, green hair loose
around her and the rest of her on display, pale and flawless, as perfect an example
of a beautiful woman as Caeneus has ever seen, and he averts his gaze. “Lady!”
“So modest,” she teases,
and when he glances over she’s in a simple white robe and pulling her hair up
behind her. She looks vulnerable like this, almost like his mother did when she
would rouse him and his father from sleep in the darkness of early morning so
they could catch the fish while they were still sleeping. “What’s going on
Caeneus? I thought my husband had exclusive rights to your nights,” she winks,
and he forces a smile.
He walks over to her, takes
her hands in his because he knows she likes how warm he runs compared to her,
and her smile slips off her face. “Please,” he whispers, “Poseidon is different
than he once was, and I want to know why. Please.”
She shouldn’t tell him,
but the heart in her chest loves him, and she
loves him too, thinks she would even without Poseidon’s heart influencing her.
So she tells him, and
when he starts crying she brushes away his tears and he doesn’t stop her. “He’ll
never love you like he once did,” she tells him, “It’s not that he doesn’t want
to, he just can’t.”
“The sea doesn’t love you
back,” he says, because he knows, because he’s a skilled sailor, because he’s
one of the people who has worshipped her his whole life without ever expecting
anything back, because that’s what an ocean gives back – nothing at all. “Can –
can I give you my heart?”
She stares. “Excuse me?”
“Let me give you my
heart,” he pleads, “so that I may hold Poseidon’s in my chest. You can have
mine, I know I’m only a mortal–”
“You’re all mortal to me,”
she says, because a hundred years, a thousand, ten thousand, what does it
matter – she and Gaia were around long before gods and humans, and they’ll be
around long after them. “If I give you Poseidon’s heart, you will become a god.”
He pales and flinches
away from her. He’s not in this for power, this was never about power to him.
It was always about love. “Lady, I’m not trying to – I don’t want that.”
“If you become a god,”
she continues, because she loves him and that means she wants him to be happy,
even at her own expense, “you will be alive when the time comes for me to
reclaim my title of monarch. One day I will take back my heart from Poseidon,
will reclaim the cold, black thing in his chest as my own, and when I do he
will no longer be master of the sea. When I do, you can give him back his
heart, and he will love you as he loved you before, as he will always love you.”
Caeneus has a hand over
his chest and there’s so much hope shining in his eyes that it’s almost painful
to look at. “Please, Lady. Please. I love him, let me carry his heart, let me
have him back once you are done. I will wait.”
“It will be a long time,”
she answers honestly, “Empires will rise and fall before I’m willing to give
this up, before Poseidon will be willing to give up his power over the sea.”
“I will wait,” Caeneus repeats,
“I love him. If you have my heart, maybe you will grow to love him too. If you
have my heart, you will protect him, you will keep him safe.”
Amphitrite loves Caeneus,
and Caeneus loves Poseidon, and Poseidon is incapable of loving anyone at all. “Very
well,” she whispers, because a heart is a heart, and just like Poseidon she’s
unable to deny Caeneus anything.
She breaks open her chest
and takes out the warm, beating heart of Poseidon. She slits open Caeneus’s
chest for him, and holds him upright while struggles to take out his heart and
clumsily places in into her chest. She heals over instantly, and nestles
Poseidon’s heart in Caeneus’s ribcage. He too heals over, and his eyes flash
with power as the heart settles inside of him.
Caeneus becomes so much
more than a mortal man in that moment.
This heart doesn’t feel
too different, she still loves Caeneus because she’s capable of loving and he
is worthy of it. “Go,” she says, “Say your goodbyes, and leave. If you stay, he’ll
just continue hurting you, and in a few thousand years he’ll hate himself for
it. Leave now, and spare both of you that pain.”
He leans forward and cups
her face in his hands, kissing her on each cheek. “Thank you,” he breathes, and
then he’s gone.
Caeneus can feel the
power of a god flowing into him, but he doesn’t care about that, the only
reason he’s glad he’s a god now is so he’ll live long enough to get Poseidon
back, to get the Poseidon who loves him back.
He goes back to where Poseidon
is sleeping, and takes a long, careful look. It will be a long time before he
sees this man again. He kisses him on the lips, softly and carefully, the way
Poseidon first kissed him when he thought he was sleeping.
Then he leaves, stepping
outside the palace and using his newly gained powers to bring himself to the
Poseidon is furious, bur Amphitrite
won’t budge, says only that Caeneus left. He throws a temper, and half the
palace is lost in the aftermath, but she does not care.
She doesn’t tell him that
she no longer carries his heart. It doesn’t matter. Caeneus’s heart beats in her
chest, and she sits on her throne amongst the rubble and does nothing more than
sigh at the way he threatens to tear the world apart looking for his lover. It
will pass. The depth and coldness of the sea is unable to sustain such fits of
Years pass. Rumors reach
them of a sea god, one who is known for rescuing sailors and fisherman from
storms, one who they say used to be a mortal fisherman himself.
They call him Glaucus,
and say that he swallowed a magical herb to become a god.
She smiles when she hears
these rumors, and thankfully Poseidon has long given up trying to get her to
explain herself. The rumors are only half right, but she likes hearing them
none the less.
i really hope that no one takes any of these posts as me “attacking” their ships or whatever!
let me also re-clarify, this has NOTHING to do with me shipping mcpriceley. not one bit.
i just really need to put it out there that 2 males can be friends without you guys having to turn it into a gay relationship. it’s also really important that we have this kind of representation of friendship so that it kills the whole “dudes bein nice and supportive of each other is gay” thing.
I understand wanting more representation of the LGBT+ community in media. But let’s also not wash away this CANON, safe, pure, NON-ABUSIVE, NOT SEXUALIZED (unless you wanna count baptize me as sexual, but we know it’s all a joke) relationship between a Ugandan woman and a fat, nerdy, white boy.
Can we just appreciate that? For once? The only canon couple in this musical ended up being between a black woman and the nerdy sidekick. They could have easily made it the skinny, smart lead (Kevin Price) but instead made it Arnold. Who was never confident in himself and who was always used to being in the shadows.