4th dimensional transition @tyelperin
1

It’s 3:20 in the morning when the stream notification pops up on his phone. Hermes taps on it and stares in a daze as Hypnos takes the longest possible route to the boss. Hypnos himself is slouching in a chair, room dark, barely even visible. He talks, as he always does, and Hermes watches silently until the pace gets on his nerves. So he types and Hypnos pauses, squints at where he assumes his chat window is, and then laughs.

“Hey, chat. Hermes says that I’m too slow and there’s a shortcut. Thanks, man, but this is about the journey and not the destination, you know? Have you tried just enjoying the scenery when you play?”

That’s what Hypnos says. Hermes doesn’t answer. He ignores whatever’s happening in chat and merely observes as Hypnos reaches the boss and deals with it methodically. It’s a clean fight. It’s clinical. Looking at Hypnos as he sits there half asleep tapping away on his controller, it’s even effortless.

That’s what Hypnos says. Hermes doesn’t answer. He ignores whatever’s happening in chat and merely observes as Hypnos reaches the boss and deals with it methodically. It’s a clean fight. It’s clinical. Looking at Hypnos as he sits there half asleep tapping away on his controller, it’s even effortless.

Someone in chat says that they can’t get over that boss because they can’t deal with its shotgun blasts. Hypnos squints at the screen once again and cheerfully suggests that they should try dodging.

He does also take the longest route possible to the next boss.

xXx

Hermes misses a step in the combo that he’s supposed to perform to beat that particular boss and restarts the game. It isn’t a matter of proficiency or perfection, but of time. He knows exactly how much time he’s missing by having botched it, so it’s better to start again. Saves time and gives him just enough to check chat, too.

“So Hypnos here is asking if I have tried not stepping into every toxic puddle in this arena. Yeah boss appreciate the advice but this is about speed, not damage,” he has barely enough time to see a string of Fs in chat before the game is back on. He misses if Hypnos has anything to say to that.

He does step on more puddles than necessary offering no explanation as to why. It doesn’t affect his time anyway. If anything, they’re urging him to go faster least he actually ends up dying. Hermes says so, fits that in with his usual chatter.

A donation from Hypnos comes through. Text to speech reads, mechanically: woah man what if you modded a permapuddle under your feet would that be fucked up or what wow godspeed huh.

Something about it tickles him. Maybe it’s the cadence, maybe it’s the quality of the text to speech voice. Hermes isn’t sure. Either way, it sends him into a fit of laughter that ruins his time completely and makes him have to restart again.

xXx

It’s been a while since he last hanged out with his cousin. Hermes doesn’t feel like there’s been any particular reason why. They’ve both been busy doing their own shit, and Zag had been stressing out over some old flame on top of that, so he let him be until Zag called him to meet at some park he liked.

Hermes is happy to hear him say that his boyfriend would be there since it implies that things are going well for him, and surprised to see another person arrive with both Zag and who he assumes is the aforementioned boyfriend. Shocked to his very core when he realizes that he does know the other man, making a beeline for him once they’re close enough and grabbing his shoulder.

“Hey coz I didn’t know you knew Hypnos,” Zagreus blinks at him. Hypnos doesn’t do much of anything besides smiling pleasantly. Zagreus’ boyfriend mutters something that sounds a lot like of course they know each other but it doesn’t sting. “Slow as ever, the lot of you. Name’s Hermes, by the way.”

He offers a hand the boyfriend’s way, who grimaces slightly and shakes it hard and fast. Hermes can respect that.

“Thanatos,” he says, curt, and Hermes nods and throws his whole arm around Hypnos’ shoulders to shake him lightly.

“Woah, careful with the goods,” it’s weird, listening to his voice live. It’s still kind of grating, which is oddly calming.

“Well coz. How’s life treating you? Mind if we start walking? Getting antsy just standing here. Gotta tell me all about this Than fellow, don’t you?” Thanatos groans. He does carefully step away from both Hypnos and him, standing by Zag’s other side, and Hermes snorts. “Lovely sort, ain’t he? Hey, boss, don’t get all gloomy come here with us we don’t bite.”

“Oh don’t you mind my brother he just has been working way too hard. He really needs to take a rest. Zagreus, would you mind telling him to unclench his jaw and relax? He won’t listen to me for whatever reason.”

Hermes finds, as Zagreus bursts out laughing, that he does have to drag Hypnos along. He is way too slow, sluggish even. Hermes doesn’t mind much.

xXx

They don’t exactly start planning to meet up after that, it sort of keeps happening and they sort of start planning it sometimes. Zagreus joins from time to time; Thanatos refuses to share any kind of space with them both.

“You…overwhelm him,” Zagreus says, lying starfished on the floor of Hypnos’ room as he sits with Hypnos on the bed. He sighs. “You both talk so much. Hermes I get but how do you even do it, Hypnos?”

Hypnos shrugs eyes half lidded. He’s already slouching and Hermes gives him about two minutes before he falls head first on the floor.

“Well, I don’t know. I just have all these things to say, why not say them. Pretty much everybody has something to say, right? Just say it.”

“You make it sound so simple,” Zagreus says, frowning, and Hermes snaps his fingers by Hypnos’ ear. He jumps, mutters I’m up, man, and decides to drop back on the bed instead of forward on the floor. “Is it that simple?”

“Anything weighing you down, coz? The sooner it’s out, the faster you can deal with it is what I think,” he offers, as Hypnos snorts, and Zagreus hums.

“Not really. Just wondering how you two even...” he pauses, cranes his neck to blink at them then drops his head down again with a dull thud. “Share a room without killing each other?”

“Oh woah, I can perfectly see what you did! You finally learned how to dodge I’m even kind of proud of you. Hermes, tell him how proud I am of him. I’m so proud. They grow up so fast,” Hypnos pats his arm urgently, and Hermes laughs.

“Don’t tease him too much,” he says, flickering a finger at Hypnos’ forehead, and Hypnos swats at his hand with a yawn. “Coz isn’t used to our speed, Hypnos. It’s kind of dangerous. He could die on impact, I don’t want that on my conscience.”

Zagreus groans. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

They don’t talk about much that night. Both Zag and him stay over at Hypnos’ and they play some silly old game Hypnos likes for hours on end. Zagreus is, surprisingly enough, the first to fall asleep.

Hermes stays up with Hypnos for a really long time. He doesn’t bother checking how long. They talk a lot. He believes that more than half of what leaves their mouths is plain stupid and the rest is mostly muffled laughter. He wakes up on Hypnos’ floor, he isn’t sure when, with a dull ache on his neck and Hypnos snoring on his chest.

xXx

It comes to him at fuck all in the morning watching Hypnos stream some game he has never even heard of. Hermes stares at him on his phone’s screen. Hypnos yawns into the controller and sinks further into his chair, eyes half lidded as he keeps on talking. He’s been there with Hypnos, in that room, and he wants to be there again and throw something over him so he isn’t cold. He wants to talk to him so he doesn’t have to talk to himself. He wants to blow on his ear and watch him jump.

Hermes stares at Hypnos as he squints at his screen and laughs. Hermes realizes. He’s quick on the uptake, after all.

He types still too slow in chat and leaves it at that.

xXx

Zagreus told him that he was bringing his boyfriend to the park again, so he’s pleasantly surprised to see that Hypnos tagged along. Hermes waves at them and gets a nod from Than, which is progress, and an enthusiastic wave from Zag. Hypnos stretches which he doesn’t think is much of a greeting but was within his expectations anyway.

“Hey,” is what Hypnos says. Hermes throws an arm over his shoulders and almost jumps out of his own skin when Hypnos throws his arm around his waist. “You were being a bit slow, I think. I don’t know. Was thinking maybe about speeding things up? Think you could do that, huh?”

Than and Zag are already walking ahead so Hypnos will be his only witness then, when Hermes is as close as he’s ever been to being at a loss for words. 

title is a song by mgmt and summary is from diplomat's son by vampire weekend thumbs up emoji
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