disclaimer: without prejudice. the names of all characters contained here-in are the property of FOX and Ryan Murphy. no infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.
author's notes: written for day 3+6 of Seblaine Week: historical + Disney. inspired by amazing fanart by zephyrianboom.
He never cared much for the world of men.
It was a conscious choice, for his brothers had decreed he would rule the underworld, and guarding the souls of mortals already proved a great task. He could not leave the dead unattended for long.
In so many ways he pitied them, their lives short and often dissatisfying, over in the blink of an eye. Yet they thrived on wasting their time on frivolity, spent what little life granted them waging war, worrying, and turned shockingly fearful when years later they felt his breath at the back of their necks, fell on their knees begging even though they'd already been ferried across the river Styx, whimpering fools while they sat for judgment.
His brothers cherished man's fleeting beauty, created in their image but so carelessly fragile, and not the God of Thunder nor the God of the Seas could resist that boundless temptation; they lay with their men and women, devised elaborate deceptions to seduce the mortals, fathered children left abandoned with their mothers. The children grew up with abilities beyond what any mortal deserved, and if anyone asked him, they didn't deserve to be called demigods. They were unwanted products of his brothers' unkempt desires, lesser, impure.
"No one likes a grouch," Quinn would say, and wrap the black ragged sheets around her naked body, in stark contrast with her vibrantly pallid skin. She'll stand staring out over his dark kingdom, one she has no care for, the flowers threaded through her luscious blonde curls slowly but surely wilting.
His eyes ravaged her from a distance, such splendid beauty he stole off Gaia herself, and yet she still wasn't his. He'd have his pick of mortals if he so chose, but what for? They withered faster than life did down here, what use did he have for them–
"You don't think them fools?" he asked, never once losing sight of his Queen, who so willingly made her way into his bed, only when it suited her.
"I think them men."
The sheets slipped down Quinn's shoulders and landed in a pool at her feet, the deep green hue that ran down her spine a telltale sign that she'll leave him for the mortal world again, to start it blooming once more.
There's strategy in her answer, carefully chosen words to lure him closer, call him out. And he fell for it every time.
"Lecherous," he offered, stalking towards his bride, eyes devouring every inch of her body while he still could, while she's still there, while he could still warm himself on her sun kissed skin, a sensation his own long since forgot.
"Greedy," Quinn added, and turned to face him, a fresh hint of lust flitting down his body. Quinn drew closer. "You're not like your brothers," she whispered to his lips, like it's a secret they both want to keep hidden. Her fingertips skimmed down his chest, before she kneeled at his feet. "That's why I chose you."
Soon she took him into her mouth and he drew in a sharp breath, the leftover flowers in her hair crunching between his fingers.
Of course, he's a hypocrite if ever there was one, a common trait in all his family.
There's one mortal who managed to catch his attention.
"Who's he?" Quinn had asked, while he stood transfixed by images playing in the well in the orchard, a one-way mirror into the mortal world he recently started using. Reflections played over his face, the life of a young mortal revealed to him.
"Blaine," he said, "One of Hunter's."
And he truly was, beautiful almost; he didn't possess Quinn's beauty, his bride had something timeless at the heart of her, the strength of the seasons and an effervescent power as great a mystery as any. Something about Blaine, however, his strength and selfless heart, his courage in the face of danger and even certain death, tempted him closer.
The one time the boy came to him he descended with divine assistance, atoning for a crime his sister Santana drove him to. And he'd attempted to keep him. The two other living souls that had ventured down to the underworld already sat chained in the dungeon, his brother's spawn would make a nice addition to his collection. But whereas Puck and Finn came to steal his beloved queen, Blaine made a simple request: in order for his penance to be complete, he had to present the king with Cerberus, the three-headed hellhound that protected the entrance to his dark kingdom.
Blaine had stood fearless, though broken; Santana treated men like playthings even more than their brothers, and surprisingly, he pitied this one mortal more than all the others. No one deserved Santana's wrath, not even Hunter's illegitimate children. So he'd granted Blaine's request, allowed him to take his precious pet, if only to spite his sister.
He huffed, "He's okay."
Quinn giggled and dabbed her fingers in the water, effectively taking his view, then bit at his ear, "Come to bed."
The day Blaine returns it's Hunter himself who delivers him to the palace. He sits in his ebony throne in the dark deep recess of the room, waiting patiently for Blaine to come to him–his steps come hesitant, frightened almost, which was lacking last time they met.
"Have you come to beg another favor?"
Blaine swallows hard. "My sister's dying."
For a moment he almost answers I know, because he's watched the girl grow weaker every day, her skin paling, the lights in her eyes shadows of what they once were. She'd lost her singing voice a few days ago, cloistered to her bed, her end nearing. He could already hear The Fates' juvenile giggles as they stretched out Rachel's life thread, sharpening their scissors, counting down the moment they could cut it in half and his kingdom would be richer one subject.
"I want to save her."
"I don't decide who lives or dies, Blaine."
"I can't bargain with The Fates."
He shoots up, towering over the meager mortal in front of him; who does he think he is, begging favor for one so close to death, one set to join the ever-swelling ranks of the dead. "And you think you can bargain with me? You have nothing I want."
Blaine balls a hand into a fist, as if to garner courage. "My soul."
"Your soul?" he asks, his curiosity peaked, but what possible use could he have for Blaine's soul? Until he realizes– "For your sister's?"
And the temptation's right there, like Eris' apple stretched out towards him his heart feuds with his mind. Blaine's soul for his sister's, his to do with as he pleases, to toy with, to– But Rachel is Blaine's half sister, they shared a mother, not a father. He will not heedlessly defy his brother.
"My father won't interfere." Blaine answers his worrisome thoughts. "I made sure of that."
He descends the three steps down to Blaine's level. "You wouldn't die."
"I don't take life," he says. "But you'll live out your mortal life down here."
The boy looks around and loathes the darkness as much as anyone who clamored in these halls, but his heart reigns so loudly, he carries a strength not only his father's but his mother's also, bathed in a loyalty towards home and hearth many men would envy. In that moment he knows Blaine will accept the trade, his heart too big for his own good.
"Can– Can I say goodbye?" the man-turned-boy asks.
"Once the deal is struck you can never return," he says, drawing closer. They aren't his rules but his kingdom's, Hades has a will of its own and something alive cannot move about the realms freely without rotting–Blaine either stays here, or accepts his sister's fate.
He reaches out a cold hand and runs an icy finger down the boy's cheek. "Consider what you're sacrificing first. Then we can deal."
Blaine returns that same evening–he watches him say goodbye to his family under the guise of travelling the lands in search of a cure for Rachel, but his melancholy eyes don't deceive his mother; Alcmene knows she won't see her son again.
"So we have a deal," Blaine says, defeated and broken yet his courage shines from him in ways he would never accredit to a mortal. "My servitude so that Rachel lives."
He holds out his hand. "Your soul for your sister's."
Blaine's hesitation proves uncountable, perhaps he's been fooled by the gods enough times to grow weary of their schemes and his trust means nothing to him; he can only offer Blaine the truth, the rest is up to him.
But Blaine takes his hand and shakes it, sealing their bargain; Rachel will live and Blaine remains here.
Nothing changes, much to his dismay.
Blaine locks himself away in his room and takes his meals there too.
They don't see each other. They don't talk.
He rules his kingdom alone, the same as before.
Three moon cycles later, Gaia blooming anew thanks to Quinn's masterful care, he decides to deny Blaine his meals unless he sits at his table. He's no slaver, he doesn't require blind obedience or adherence to any rulebook, nor does he wish for Blaine to be unhappy–but Blaine's presence hasn't filled up the palace the way he prayed it would.
Blaine's stubborn and holds out for four days, long tantalizing days and his rage lives so close to the surface of his skin he nearly burns the entire palace down.
"How dare he defy me!" he screams at no one in particular, greeted by the frightened scuttle of paws across the floors as the curtains burn to ashes. Unaware of his own failings as a man he paces the room, brimstone falling in chunks off the walls. "This was his choice. His only choice to save his sister."
Rejection sinks its claws deep into his immortal soul, festering into a vile mutation that will consume him before long.
When Blaine finally sits down at his table the silence settles tenuous and angry, Blaine too weak to speak, he too proud to try.
In the cover of night he sets fire to his own body, dangerously close to combusting with all the desire it has developed for Blaine. He's no different than any other man in so many ways; he's lecherous and greedy and he wants to own Blaine in every possible way, his shame startlingly easy to contain.
The earth renews and blooms, Helios reaches its apex and descends again, more times than he cares to admit, days pass with indifference because he refuses to admit his attachment deepens, he's afraid to, no mortal nor demigod should have this kind of power over him.
Yet his understanding for his brothers' heedless desires grows.
Blaine wanders around the palace the way the souls of the dead drift through the Meadows, his psyche frozen the moment he entered Hades, insubstantial and without purpose, stripped of his spirit before its time.
His days grow long and tedious as the silence builds like unbridgeable seas of time, resentment soon all they're left with. Blaine's choice condemned him to a world where sunlight can't reach and nothing grows outside the orchards but a sense of loss and devastation seeped deep into loose ashen soil. His world holds little beauty that anyone can see, but it's the fate his brothers dealt him–he's feared and loathed by mortals young and old without reason; all he does is guard the dead.
"You can be happy here, Blaine," he says in a moment of weakness, uncharacteristically catching the boy outside his chambers. "This doesn't have to be the end."
"Maybe if I knew–" Blaine casts down his eyes, begging the question what he hasn't given already; his sister lives free of illness, he kept his word, there has been no elaborate deception or lies of any kind, no illusions, no metamorphosis. What more does Blaine want?
"Can't I see my family?" comes the answer, after almost three seasons of quiet Blaine asks the question he expected at the beginning of his stay. "How do you travel to the mortal world? There has to be a way."
He thinks about the well in the orchard and the peace of mind it might provide. But he refuses to doom Blaine to that particular kind of torture.
"I'm a God, Blaine. I go where I please."
It's only a half-truth. He's shackled to this realm all the same. People never cease to die.
"So I'm stuck here? Forever?"
"You struck a deal." His voice sounds cold, even though he recognizes the rhythm of his own isolation laced in Blaine's tone.
"For my soul," Blaine says, tears in his eyes. "What about my body?"
He looks at Blaine, a shell of the man he was seasons ago, his solitude marking his face and weighting down his limbs, yet he lusts for that body, longs to give it life again, coax its spirit back with his mouth and lips and tongue and trap it like a caged animal. "That belongs to me until you die."
A glistening tear runs down Blaine's cheek and he almost reaches out, but when the words, "You're a monster," tumble from Blaine's lips his skin sets on fire.
Blaine covers his mouth and runs.
But maybe he is. Maybe he is a monster.
"You're not a monster," Quinn will dispute later, her beautifully toned body spread weightless over his.
He caresses his fingers down Quinn's spine, down to the small of her back where she's particularly ticklish, though her breathy laugh doesn't elicit the same kind of satisfaction.
His hand falls away. "Then what am I?"
Quinn raises herself on her arms, stares down into the pit of darkness he must be; he sucks life out of everything, steals beauty as he pleases. Maybe he is a monster.
"You're a man," Quinn says. "Like he is."
But no, he isn't like any other man–he lusts after Blaine like any other, but more than that he is a God, chained to this wretched place of an underworld, burdened with the souls of other men who'd committed much more heinous deeds than he yet they were allowed peace. He is immortal. He will never be granted a reprieve from this.
"He's young." Quinn rests her ear over his heart. "He doesn't carry your burden."
Whenever Quinn stays with him he indulges in a great many things he wouldn't otherwise–they enjoy lavish and decadent meals, seclude themselves to his bed for days and days, aware of nothing but each other's skin, each other's mouth, each other's desire. Quinn entices him away from his burden, coaxes him into a fantasy where he's not the sole proprietor of a kingdom his own (Hunter has his pantheon of gods to prostrate at his feet, what does he have?), and makes him forget all about Blaine.
And he gets a great amount of enjoyment watching her bathe.
The balnae comprise a large room in a remote corner of the palace, no walls enclosing the view but rather an infinite drop down, a waterfall that feeds back into the dark lake below. Torches mounted to the walls light the room, making Quinn's skin gleam golden. She relishes being watched, likes to feel his eyes devour every inch of her immaculate skin. The water knits her hair together and drops mark indistinguishable pathways down her body, nature's temptation spelled out in detail.
Sometimes she plays with herself, winds him up into frenzy from a distance while her eyes shine with mischief, until he sheds his chiton and joins her. They'll unite their bodies and surrender to a passion so strong it'd make Eros envious.
Blaine doesn't understand, he regards their excess with disdain yet an odd kind of longing in his eyes, one he's loath to decipher.
"Quinn comes here of her own accord," he explains unprompted, but they're alone at the dinner table while Quinn's green fingers rejuvenate the trees in the orchard, and he'll be damned if this silence sets like stone. "It's the mortal world that pulls her away."
Blaine sits small and fading in his chair, hunched over his plate, a shadow of the boy he was a year ago. "You never go with her?"
"I could." He stands and crosses the distance. "But I have a kingdom of my own to rule."
He extends a hand and waits patiently for Blaine to notice, prepared to see this go either way; Blaine could take his hand and follow his lead, or deny him again–either way he'll burn, if not from desire, then anguish.
Much to his surprise Blaine takes his hand, allows himself to be led from his chair to the balcony. "Is it enough?" he asks.
"No," he replies in earnest, and runs a thumb over Blaine's knuckles, his skin nearly as cold as his now, and he's foolish enough to admit, "that's why you're here."
Blaine's hand disappears from his between two beats of his heart. "So you took me because–" Blaine rears back a step, fuelled by a new strength. "Because you're lonely?"
"I took you because I could." He lashes out, a reciprocal gesture to fight the disgust in his guest's eyes, a revulsion too trite, too commonly aimed in his direction. "I am a God, Blaine. We get what we want." But what does that mean faced with eternity? Are his desires as fleeting and frivolous as man's? Will his longing for Blaine pass too or burn eternally like the fires of Tartarus?
Blaine scoffs. "You don't have me."
"I will conquer you." He gains a step and looms tall over the frail boy he once admired, he so covets, his voice not his own. "You're in my world now, Blaine. You are as far beneath Gaia as she is beneath the sky. You will never leave. That was our deal."
"And I will honor that deal," Blaine hisses. "But I will never be yours."
You're a monster, he hears echoed in the pits of hell until he can't stand to hear it anymore. He tears down his throne in a blind rage, takes it down stone by stone and burns holes in the walls, fully realizing it'll all be restored by the next dawn, and sends Quinn fleeing from the room.
That night he sinks down to his knees at her feet, his loneliness beating him bloody, a solitary king on a black granite throne.
"What's the matter, my king?" Quinn drags his fingers through his hair, back and forth until his skin crawls. "Bested by a mortal?"
"I haven't been bested," he whines, burying his face in Quinn's stomach, beaten down and broken, longing for Blaine to pay back a debt he's not owed. He stares up at his queen, who's seemingly unaffected by his outburst. "Why do you keep coming back?"
Quinn goes down on her knees in front of him, leaves a kiss on his lips so sweet he'll taste it for days. His queen and consort, his lover for every winter yet to come, why did she enslave herself to this shadow realm, one that never knew beauty until she made it her home. What did she see in him everyone else failed to?
"I chose to bind myself to you," she says, and hugs him close. "I wanted you."
He selfishly craves Quinn and Blaine for all his days, even though Blaine will one day die down here and live on in Elysium–he wants Blaine, but Blaine sees him as the grim reaper who comes to collect the dead before their time.
"So make him want you too," comes Quinn's gentle statement, between the frantic beats of his heart.
The day after Quinn leaves he asks Blaine to join him in the performance of his duties; it's time for Blaine to see more of Hades than the places he already passed sentence on. Blaine has grown too weak to argue with him and follows him down to the river Styx, where Charon will arrive any moment with a cargo of souls. Blaine remains silent by his side while the barge moors to the shore, until he sees the ferry's passengers, a group of them stepping onto the black gravely beach, their footsteps leaving the grains undisturbed.
Blaine's eyes fill with horror. "They're children."
"Children die too."
Blaine shakes his head. "But how can you–"
He lights the lantern that will guide the innocent souls to where they will live on in eternity, sadness stretching yet another shadow over him. "I don't kill people, Blaine." He's weary of explaining, tired of the prejudice he can't fight, sick of the fear and horror in people's eyes when they see him. That's why he's almost pleased Charon brought him children, they see beyond his greying skin into his own soul–they're innocent and untouched by the world's cruelty, unmarked by other people's opinions. They never fight their fate. "Mortals are quite equipped at killing each other. Killing themselves."
"What happened to them?"
"There was a fire," he says, the innocents playing on the beach; their burns don't show. "You only see their immortal souls. They have no need of their bodies in Hades."
"What about me?"
He stares down at Blaine, body and soul. "You came here of your own free will."
Blaine doesn't release his eyes for long endless moments, like he's trying to decipher his psyche by sight alone, and he can't help but wonder what he finds. "Where will they go?"
"Where your sister would've gone."
He grabs the lantern and calls for the children, leading them to one of the highest point in his kingdom, a big fissure between two rocks they have to squeeze through, before entering Elysium. The fields stretch as far as the eye can see, wide open meadows with tall grass and trees for children to climb; there are rivers and creeks, lakes and waterfalls, places to watch the stars once night falls, not a singular rainy day in their future.
He watches Blaine take it all in like it's the greatest wonder he's ever had the privilege of witnessing, the children long gone to take their place in paradise.
"I can't feel the sun," Blaine says, one of his hands playing in a nearby sunbeam.
"Nor can I," he says. "Neither of us belongs here."
Blaine frowns. "But you're king here."
He laughs. "Ironic, isn't it?"
Blaine takes a step deeper into Elysium, his deep thought forgotten, and he understands Blaine finally realizes the fate that awaited his sister, this paradise below ground, a fate less worse than living out one's days with the God of the Underworld.
He knows what Blaine wants. "Would you like to see your sister?"
Blaine turns with hope in his eyes, hope he thought dead and destroyed by the bargain they struck, but there it is, as if Pandora had hid it there all along. "Yes."
And so he shows Blaine the way back to the orchard, prepared to lose the boy like Narcissus lost himself to his own reflection, but at least it might make his stay more bearable. His desire for Blaine will fade in time.
"Think of your sister," he says when they find themselves at the well, the pomegranate trees in full bloom all around them. "She will appear to you as she is."
Blaine doesn't thank him, nor spare him another glance, so he leaves him to his devices, colored by the foolish hope that Blaine might join him for dinner tonight with lifted spirit.
He turns to see Blaine looking at him.
"Do you know that about everyone? How they died?"
No lies. "Yes."
"I'm sorry," Blaine says.
He never asked for Blaine's pity or anyone else's, he has no idea where to place it, whether to accept and respond or violently reject it. So he doesn't say anything.
Blaine joins him for dinner every night and talks about his family until he can't stand to hear it anymore. But it's more than he's said in over a year and it chisels at the silence stone by stone. Blaine eats and sleeps sound and sits out by the well, and on occasion he'll walk beside him on the way to Elysium, guiding the dead safely to their destination.
"Do you love Quinn?" Blaine will ask some day the next year, silence non-existent and loneliness a distant memory.
"More than the great poets could ever say."
He sits next to Blaine by the side of the lake, no real beauty to be seen through the pitch black, and he marvels at Blaine's ability to pull himself away from the orchard time and again–he expected the boy to become wholly occupied with witnessing his family's lives, but instead he measures out his time with great care. Maybe Blaine understands the tenements of temptation.
"Why do you ask?"
Blaine's eyes track over his face in search of something true. "You're not a monster," he says softly. Blaine sits close and his body feels warm again, the promise of family and friends having chased away the biting cold. "I'm not blind, Sebastian. The gods have treated men like their playthings since the dawn of time."
Has he treated Blaine as such, staked his claim the way his brothers had to so many mortals, has he been unfair, lied and cheated? No, Blaine came to him.
He reaches out a hand without intending too, settling a cold hand against Blaine's cheek, but the boy appreciates the touch–he closes his eyes the moment his withered skin caresses his perfect olive complexion and leans into it, humming as he does. If he could he would steal a kiss or two like one lover meeting another in secret, but it's a fantasy he cannot partake in. Blaine's beauty rivals Quinn's, but his heart remains less fleeting than his queen's, tied to Gaia in more earthbound ways, solid and trustworthy, a hero in the making.
Who is he to steal him away from that future?
He pulls back and stands, ignoring Blaine's gentle, "Sebastian," and keeps his hand balled into a tight fist until he's alone in the throne room. He stares down at his hand and frowns, Blaine's warmth somehow cupped inside the lines of his palm. What has this boy done to him?
He's grown to understand Blaine's choices, why he sacrificed his soul for his sister, the love in his eyes every time he talked about Rachel made him envious–the same kind of love did not exist between his brothers and sisters, even though they'd once stood as a united front against their parents.
Why had he made this deal? It was enticing, the promise of Blaine close whereas previously he'd been nothing but a reflection, one of Hunter's, a picture perfect boy descending so readily into his world. But Blaine considered it nothing more than a bargain, he gave up his soul so his sister wouldn't have to go before her time, and how could anyone not consider that beautiful? Heroic?
And what kind of monster would let that life decay in a hell dimension that knows only to take, destroy, erase?
Blaine calls his name too softly; he hasn't deserved Blaine's growing compassion.
"You're free to go."
He keeps his back turned, his selflessness beating more painful than his loneliness ever could.
"What? But Rachel–"
"Our deal stands."
He's not supposed to show favor to a mortal, any mortal, but Blaine's not an ordinary man. And he is a God, after all.
"Go. Live your life. You won't find anything blocking your path. Not anymore."
If Blaine moves he doesn't hear it and it's for the better–no one should be condemned to life down here, too full of despair, too much death everywhere. His kingdom wasn't meant for mortals, barely maintained the gods themselves. It's for the better.
A breath directly behind him betrays Blaine's lingering presence. Why hasn't he run from this place already? He turns and tries not to buckle under his own selfish longing.
Blaine raises a hand to his face, careless fingertips down his cheek he can barely sense. "Why me?" Blaine swallows hard, his nerves disturbing the air around them.
"You don't fear death," he says, though what he means to say lies laced with centuries of prejudice directed his way. Blaine doesn't fear him. It's so new, so refreshing, for a mortal not to tremble in front of him, to be fearless and courageous at the sight of his dark skin, his unnaturally grey hair and equally deadened eyes.
Blaine's fingers trail down his neck, his skin heating under the careful touch, until Blaine's hand rests over the brooch keeping his chiton together–he releases the clasp and his garments pool at his feet, Blaine's eyes travelling unkempt and shameless down his naked body.
"I fear the gods' trickery."
Hazel eyes pity him but soften with an emotion he only ever attributed to Quinn before, there's love and trust and his mind's made up: Blaine can't stay, he won't watch this boy die down here under his keep.
"You're not like the others."
Sadness touches his heart. "More than you think."
"No, you've never lied to me," Blaine says softly, and removes his own clothing, discarded on the floor without much further thought.
He curls a finger under Blaine's chin and leans closer, ghosting his lips over Blaine's.
Blaine's fingers chart down the expanse of his chest and he doesn't kiss him either, they're both content to cherish each breath, let their eyes feast on amber and green that meet somewhere as a compromise, or surrender, he's not certain of anything anymore. His name tumbles from Blaine's lips in a hushed whisper and he swallows it whole before it can hit the ether; their mouths meet in a kiss, their teeth clash and lips part before he sucks Blaine's lips into a swollen mess.
It's everything he's longed for and more.
Blaine winces at the cold stone once he forces his back to the wall, the discomfort short-lived and a shiver ravages both their bodies–his skin crawls with a madness he hasn't experienced in so long, flames that won't burn Blaine but will alight a passion that hasn't existed since Ophion took Eurynome and gave birth to Eros.
He kneels at Blaine's feet and takes him into his mouth, tastes him hot and heavy on his tongue and has Blaine begging, strong fingers wiring into his hair while his own work Blaine open. Then, Blaine wills both their bodies down on the ground and takes control, straddles his hips between strong thighs and sinks down over him, hips circling, and the lust that sears down his spine leaves burn marks in the stone.
The cosmos freezes around that moment in the throne room, his body interlocked with Blaine's in a perfect embrace, an act as old as time itself, every move and thrust and kiss a tragedy written by great poets long ago.
Later, in the bedroom, he takes Blaine and makes him scream out his name until it rings through his entire kingdom, reverberates up into the soil of Gaia, up her roots, and the echoes reach the sun; Blaine's mouth warms up every inch of his sun-deprived body until it blisters with heat, flames set the sheets on fire and leaves them ashes; they kiss and it blots out the sun, he loses his sight but feels Blaine everywhere, hands and lips and teeth, engraving their epos into his skin for future generations to read.
And when he wakes up the next day he remembers to etch every line into his mind's eye, the curve of Blaine's lips and the ember of his eyes, the dark hairs raining down his torso, hips and legs, and his smile. He makes sure to disappear before Blaine wakes and leaves no door unopened, no path unclear, one lighted passage back to the mortal world.
Blaine won't see him again until the day he dies.
His brothers don't approve. Much as they favor certain mortals, no mortal should be exempt their rules or laws, but given their own propensity to cheat on their vengeful spouses they don't defy him. Quinn is proud of him, she refuses to see him lonely when she's not around, though she's puzzled as to why he let Blaine go
"You love him," comes her logical conclusion, the way only a woman could know. He makes her swear never to let the truth slip to any of the other gods.
Years pass, and he watches Blaine grow into the man he was destined to be, a hero to the people of Greece, fighting against the gods' injustice and helping people in need. It provides him with an odd sense of pride. Quinn's not wrong, he loves Blaine, that's how he was able to release him from bondage, why he feels joy when he sees Blaine happy, even if it's with another woman, another man, the children he raises.
Quinn grants him three daughters, each possessing her beauty, each untouched by the darkness that saturates his world, none chained to the seasons the way their mother was.
His brothers and sisters, even his children dub him lonely, constantly watching, never taking a lover in between the winter seasons.
He and Quinn know better.
The day Blaine leaves the mortal coil he stands watching from Mount Olympus, Hunter, Santana and Sam watching alongside him as Blaine's body burns, fire eating at the flesh, peeling it off the bone, until only the soul remains. Anyone else's soul would've dwelled without guidance until Charon ferried them across the river, but Blaine's rises to the heavens, swept along storm clouds and clear skies, closer to the sun then Icarus ever managed.
Blaine's soul lands before the gates of Olympus, where Hunter works his magic and restores his body, shining anew with strength and youth he never truly lost.
Blaine's deeds have earned him a place here, among the gods, in all the kingdoms he wishes to haunt.
But it's him Blaine finds first.
"You haven't changed."
"I am eternal," he says. "One of the curses of being a god."
Blaine takes hold of his hand and places it over his heart, beating strong and truthful beneath years of experience that mark him now, the distance between them chased away by death. "Not a curse."
"A gift," Blaine whispers and kisses him like it's the first and the last time, like it's the greeting they forgot to heed decades ago and the goodbye between lovers who did not wish to part, like nothing in the world matters, not Hades, not Olympus or anything linking the two together–
Blaine is his and he is Blaine's.
He and Quinn knew better.
He was waiting.
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