Zeus was languidly chewing his toast and gazing at the weather section over the top of his reading spectacles. "What do you mean, dear?" he asked without looking up.
That made him put the Hellenic Herald down and consider her. With careful movements he steepled his fingers and studied her with much interest and apprehension.
Hera gave a great sigh. "Thousands of girls running about with their maidenheads out like it's an Olympic sport... you tramping about, changing your animal of choice like you change your toga... me trying to one-up you by killing them or imprisoning them, or otherwise making a fool out of myself by making colossal mistakes and making everyone miserable."
"Hephaestus is a talented boy," Zeus said reassuringly, "you shouldn't blame yourself for him."
"I... wasn't talking about that, actually, but since you mention it, trying to grow my own baby in my brain was quite a colossal mistake."
"Well... he can't do the hundred meter dash, but he's married at least, isn't he?"
"And look at how that went." Hera nodded her head to the wall where just beyond, Aphrodite, Hephaestus's wife, was still bound to the bed she'd been caught in with Ares.
"They'll get over it. They're eons old, after all; nothing but time to heal that wound."
"Time. Exactly. Look at what time's brought us. Where's the excitement? The adventure? Why don't you ever become an animal for me?"
Zeus looked stupefied. "I didn't think you were into that."
"Of course I'm into that. Every other woman is into that, quite obviously, why not I? Weren't you watching when I whipped up that creature with one hundred eyes?"
"Well, yes, but that's... not exactly related. Is it?"
|The shitty end of the stick|
"Don't call her that."
"Not derogatorily, literally! No one else would've turned their strumpet into a bovine; I knew it was you. Animals are your thing. Just not with me."
"Well... what animal were you thinking?"
Hera looked him dead in the eye, a spark igniting hers. "Chimeras."
If he was surprised before, he was dumbfounded now. "Really?"
"The best of four worlds." Her chest rose and fell heavily.
"I... well, I certainly don't turn my nose up at the idea..."
"You don't?" she said softly, hope rising around her like a cloud.
"I've been having... trouble... Hm, how do I put this? There's no thunder without my lightning, if you catch my meaning."
"Oh? Oh. Oh. Well... what can I do to help?"
"I don't know..."
"What do those girls do for you that I don't?"
Zeus was left vulnerable, and Zeus was never, ever vulnerable. "I don't know if I can tell you."
"Tell me, dear." She stuck out her chest and gave her best doe eyes.
It did just the trick. "Well... I kind of like the damsel in distress thing."
Hera's shoulders slumped, crestfallen. "Really?"
"Don't get me wrong! I think it's weak. Cannot abide it most times. But it just gets me so..." He inhaled sharply, his eyes rolling up.
Hera worried her hair and looked all about the room. "I could... you know... roleplay for you..."
Zeus took off his spectacles. "Could you?" he said saucily, a very sensuous grin on his face.
They stared at each other hungrily for a moment before retreating to the sun roof.
Hera fought uselessly against her binds. "Oh, no! Help me, please, Perseus!"
"There's no demigod to save you, Princess," Zeus said through his lion's head with a growl. "Wrong story, anyway."
"Zeus," Hera said impatiently.
"Sorry. Surrender unto me!" He roared, cawed, hissed, and bleated.
"Ah! Gods, have mercy! Save me! Sa... ah... oh... oooh!"
Returned to human form, Zeus lay back with Hera on a cloud, running his fingertips along her arm and hip and snuggling against her tightly. They drifted along, no thought as to where they were going. "We should do this more often," he declared.
She sat up and stared down at him, arms crossed.
"Oh, what did I do now?" he said exasperatingly.
"I'm not going to spend my days being a pathetic jezebel, just so you know," she said rather firmly.
Zeus raised himself up higher than his wife. "Well, just so you know, I'm not going to change myself into hideous and disfigured monsters for you all the time."
Hera lifted her chin to gain a few inches on him. "Good. I don't want you to. You start to come off as dumb as they are after a while."
He stood and bent over her. "Well, great! I don't want you to be pathetic all the time, either. I want my wife to be a tough, no-nonsense woman, not some flimsy hussy."
She sank down into the cloud, unfolding her arms and looking quite humbled. "You like that about me?"
"Of course I do." Zeus sat down next to her and took her hands into his. "I'm a leader, and I need strong people by my side. You're the toughest goddess this side of the Aegean."
Hera smiled for the first time since the Bronze Age. Then it turned sly. "Well, in that case... next time, I want a minotaur."
Zeus purred. "How do you feel about being chased through the Underworld?"
Hera hummed and hawed. "It's a little drafty for my tastes, but I am most willing to make that sacrifice."
And so Hera and Zeus lived happily ever after at the expense of many a neglected maiden.