Author: Ramzes PM
Before Zeus, there was Hades. And it was Hades who made the choice that determined the fate of the gods and the humankind.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Hades & Hera - Words: 1,594 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 3 - Published: 09-09-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5365725
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Do I need to mention that I do not own Zeus, Hera, Hades, or anyone else? I think we all know that. I certainly do.
I can't believe I'm finally uploading a story in the Greek mythology fandom. You know, Greek myths have always been my passion. I started reading them before I could fully understand them, when I was six, I think, and I haven't stopped since. They were one of the greatest influences in my choice of education, profession and so on. My master thesis was a comparison between Hesiod and the Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson and the mythological systems that they described. By the way, I think that in history and literature, Hesiod is heavily and unfairly overshadowed by Homer, because in my opinion, the research of the Greek mythology owes even more to Hesiod than Homer. But as I say, it's just my opinion.
"My lord – "
The voice that the Lord of the Underworld had longed for, the one he feared, called out his name. He turned and saw in front of him his youngest sister, her hair falling wildly, her robes whispering of spring and hopes, her eyes intent. She looked full of so much joy and hope and so devastatingly lovely that he felt like he'd rather die than tell her what he needed to say – but of course, he was immortal. He couldn't die.
"We need to talk," she said, her melodic voice ringing sweetly, her big dark eyes still shining with hope and intent, and a little fear.
He sighed. "Yes, it'll be better if we do."
He rose from his throne and made a gesture, as if inviting her to his palace, but the young goddess shook her head. "Can't we go on the surface?" she asked instead.
Hades could feel the dark stares of the furies who were intent on not leaving them out of their sight. Well, he could not blame them for wanting to know exactly what a major change would take place in their lives and the Underworld, but he could not blame Hera for not feeling entirely comfortable with them, either. He couldn't imagine a difference greater than the one between his young, beautiful and optimistic sister and the awful creatures of vengeance.
"Yes, of course," he said and took her hand, leading her towards the river Styx. He could feel her hand trembling in his – Hera had never been fond of dark underground places, having spent a good hundred years as a prisoner in her own father's body. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, trying to reassure her without being too obvious. Hera hated admitted that she feared something or needed comfort. She always had to be strong, to be in control. And if she couldn't be, she'd deny it to the last. That was just the way she was – arrogant and stubborn, and always insisting to have her way. And Hades liked her just as she was.
Soon they reached the river. Charon lifted his eyebrows at seeing the god of the dead and the goddess who was the incarnation of life and joy of life together. Hera gave him a haughty look and was about to toss him the coins due for their pass – she was an honest woman and she hated owing anything to anyone, - but Hades was faster, paying Charon before Hera could react. Together, they sat in the little boat, never exchanging a word, both feeling that something would happen that would change their lives forever, something that would define them and decide their future.
Hades did not especially like bright sunny places and Hera knew that, so by unspoken mutual agreement, they found a place where they could both feel relaxed – a small forest that threw a heavy shadow over a spring. They sat under a tree right next to the spring. For a moment, their reflections appeared in the water next to one another – two faces with the same dark eyes, with the same fine features. The only difference was that Hera's facial lines were more delicate, as befitting to a woman, while Hades' were hardened in a typically male attractiveness. The warm breeze waved their dark curls, making them intermingle.
"So?" Hades finally asked.
Hera hesitated. "He wouldn't leave me alone!" she suddenly exploded. "Wherever I go, whatever I do, he's always there! I cannot get rid of him. Zeus, Zeus, Zeus!" With each repetition of her youngest brother's name, she was working herself into a greater rage. "He cannot stop chasing after me, it seems, and he won't take no for an answer."
Hades stared at her silently, intently, as if he was trying to read her heart and thoughts. She blushed furiously, but held her ground anyway. "I can't stand him," she insisted. "He's arrogant and thinks himself above everyone else, and he's such a… such a boy!"
If his heart weren't breaking, Hades would have laughed at hearing the Lord of the Sky – the Lord of the Universe, actually – being described so bitingly and truthfully. "You like him," he stated. It was not a question. "You do."
Of course she did. Annoying as Zeus was, he was attractive and amusing. Charming. Besides, the constant interest of the King of the gods worked wonders on Hera's vanity, and she was vain. Besides, he made her feel loved and desired, which she, although unwillingly, did need after Hades' strange behavior lately – he was being distant and polite, avoiding, even neglecting. He seemed to be in some sort of inner struggle about something that Hera could not quite understand. It was as if the last two hundred or so years never existed, that the two of them had never cared about one another. She did not know what to make of it, but she wanted to come clear now.
"Maybe I do like him, a little," she admitted. She was staring at him very intently and she didn't miss the pain and disappointment that flickered through his eyes. "I could not help myself. He was there and you weren't, Hades. You still aren't."
"I never accused you of anything."
"Don't you?" she asked, her voice rising. "Really?"
Hades could tell that there would be a storm worse than anything their brother's lightnings could create, and he tried to stop it. "Hera – "
"Don't!" she interrupted him. "Hades, I love you. And I think you love me too. Do you?"
"Yes, Hera, I do." His voice was tender, but there was no reassurance in it, no promise.
She subsided. "But you won't marry me," she finally said.
How could he? What could become of their marriage? Love was a very important thing in a marriage, but that was not all of it. Hera, young and idealistic, couldn't see it, but Hades saw clearly what future lay ahead of them if they surrendered to love: they would make each other miserable. He could never live anywhere but in the Underworld. Hera insisted that it was just the fact that he had spent so many years as a prisoner in the darkness of their father's body which had turned into their prison – longer than any of them, except for Hestia. Maybe it was the truth, but not all of it. Hades belonged to the Underworld, that was his nature. He belonged to the place of perfect organization and harmony, even dark ones. Hera, on the other hand, painfully obviously belonged to the world of light and air, to the joys of spring and the sudden thunder of the autumn storms. Hera was the other name of turmoil. He could not bring such a bright creature into the world of dark despair. Maybe another goddess could become used to it, but not this one - she could never be happy in anything that reminded her her long captivity in Kronus' body. No, Hades would not bring her there. And if he surrendered to his wish to do so, it would be forever. Hera was the goddess of marriage. Once she herself became a married woman, there was no going back, no matter how much they both might want it. He would not do this to her.
"I cannot bring you there, Hera," he said. "You'd hate it there."
She nodded in agreement – she could not deny that he was right. "But I love you," she said. "Are you afraid that I won't be able to endure it for you?"
He shook his head. "No," he said, "I'm afraid that you won't be happy while enduring it for me."
Her eyes shone with tears. For a while, they looked at their images in the water, thinking that it was probably the last time they were reflected together in anything.
"So… that was it?" Hera finally asked. "I think I hate you," she added with sudden venom. "You've ruined my life, my Lord of the Dead!"
Hades smiled slightly. "Life is long, Queen Hera," he said, "at least for us."
"I am not a queen!"
"But you will be." He slowly rose. "One day, we'll be happy," he said. "Just not together."
He stretched out a hand to help her rise, but she pretended not to see it.
And so, each went on their way – Hades for the Underworld, Hera for Mount Ida. Separately.