I don't own CCS. This is fanfiction.net here, people. Not fictionpress. :)

A Pluto/Persephone concept. He, the God of Death has come to claim her soul as his. But she, a mere mortal, yearns for another chance at life, so he makes her a deal. If she can prove she is worthy of life, he will grant her wish. But when she proves she is worthy of his love as well, can he keep his promise? AU

Loneliness, he decided, was not a nice feeling. He mulled over the notion thoughtfully. "Loneliness," he muttered, as if testing the word out on his tongue "is not a very nice feeling at all."

A small cat-like creature fluttered its wings indignantly from its perch on its Master's shoulder.

"You're not alone," it objected firmly, peering at him in concern. "You have me. And," it added as an afterthought, "you have Nakuru, though I have no idea what he does." It sniffed and settled on his shoulder once more, content to glare dauntingly at the mice scurrying past.

"Ah yes." The smile did not quite reach his eyes. "The God of Death must have his loyal companions."

It nodded in agreement. A second later, it was jostled from its perch as its Master got up abruptly. "Hey," it protested rubbing its sore behind tenderly. "Where are you going?"

"I think," came the reply, "I need a walk."

"A walk," it echoed incredulously, staring after its Master's retreating back in astonishment.

= = = = = = = Shinigami

= = = = = = =

Daidouji Tomoyo was so used to the welcome silence and solitude of Tomoeda's quaint second-hand bookshop that she barely blinked when she was greeted by the darkness of the unopened shop, as soon as she stepped inside.  So frequently did she visit, that Mizuki-san had provided her with her own key and every morning, without fail, Tomoyo would open up shop and make them both tea.

Today, she set the steaming mugs upon the counter and began her search for a new romance to indulge herself in. Because, she reminded herself silently, your own love life is non-existent.

She meandered with the casual elegance the Daidoujis were famous for, letting her eyes wander aimlessly over tattered spines and fading letters. Her fingertip glided lightly over smooth leather and torn paper, pausing now and then to flick through rough, dog-eared pages.

"Ohayo, Tomoyo. Big plans for all these books?"

The book Tomoyo had been holding only a second earlier clattered to the floor, rousing the age-old dust from between the cracks in the floorboards. She hastened to retrieve it and pushed the hair out of her face.

"N-no," she stammered, flustered. "I'm meeting Sakura-chan and Li-kun for coffee this afternoon. To…to plan the decorations…for – for the wedding, you see."

"I see."

Tomoyo shifted nervously beneath Mizuki-san's penetrating gaze. Those tawny, know-all eyes always seemed to see right through her.
 "Sakura seems to be very happy." The sentence hung in the air and Tomoyo swallowed, knowing the woman was gouging for a reaction.

"Very happy," she echoed cheerfully, inwardly wincing at the forced cheer in her tone. "And I'm also very happy for her." I am very happy for her, she reassured herself stubbornly. Overjoyed.

To her relief, the small tinkle of a brass chime signaled the entrance of an early shopper and, sure enough, a chill crept through the open door before it clicked shut once again. Tomoyo welcomed the intrusion and slipped further down the aisles, safe from prying conversation.

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He had not come by for such a long time, yet the brass handle felt cool and familiar in his hands. The soft melody emanating from the wind chime overhead seemed to sing out a welcome.

The tone in his former lover's voice, however, did not.

"What brings you here, Shinigami-sama?" The cool, polite tone did not betray any emotion, but the look in her eyes said it all. So she was afraid.

"And good morning to you to, Kaho," he greeted her pleasantly. He did not bother to unbutton his coat or loosen his scarf. He would not be staying long and he doubted very much that he would be missed.

He chuckled – almost bitterly – as he noted her small, cautionary movements toward the opposite side of the counter. "Tut tut, my dear. It is not your time yet. I see many," and hear he took satisfaction at her flinch as he leaned in close enough so that his warm breath tickled her ear. "I see many warm, happy times with your significant other." At her small, involuntary sigh of relief, his expression cleared and the bitterness in his tone was gone. "However, that doesn't stop an innocent shopper from browsing, does it? And," he added cheerfully. "I think we know each other well enough to be using a first-name basis. Don't you think, Kaho?"

She nodded mutely and followed him down the first aisle, still wary of his unexpected visit.
"Spinel Sun and Ruby Moon say hello," he said casually over his shoulder, as if a being like him interacted with humans all the time. It was a lie of course. Spinel Sun and Ruby Moon did not even know where he was. "Did I ever tell you about the time - oh!" Startled, he stepped back. He had not expected anybody to be here this early, much less such an alluring, breath-taking young woman such as she. Standing there, humming to herself quietly – so breathtaking, so innocent.

"Exquisite," he murmured, overwhelmed.

Following his gaze, Kaho hastened to change his mind. "Don't you dare, Eriol," she hissed, clutching his arm fearfully. "She is just a girl. Promise me that you will not lay a single finger on her."

He gave her a teasing smile and wagged his finger wickedly. "You ruin all my fun, Kaho."

"Please."

For a moment, he was reminded of a time when he used to make her beg like that for something much more important than a silly little girl, but he shook the thought out of his mind. He let out a small woeful sigh and shook his head sadly. "Very well then. I solemnly swear that I will not lay a single finger on her."

Was it relief that flooded her face? Gratitude?

He didn't know – or maybe he didn't care? She had made her choice and there was nothing Eriol could do to persuade her otherwise. She was mortal now, and mortal always. There were no second chances and he doubted very much that she would take it if offered, anyway.

He tried to contain the sly smile that crept upon his lips. He had promised that he would not lay a single finger on the girl, and he kept his promises – no matter how much they hurt.

The last thing he heard before the door shut behind him and the chime sang its last song was a small scream and then a crash as bookshelf and books came toppling down onto the unsuspecting girl.

He did not cast a backward glance toward the quaint little bookshop to see the pale, lovely face of the young girl, her life thread slowly running out minute by minute.

He would be seeing her soon.

There was a slam, and despite himself Eriol found himself looking into blazing amber that glinted madly in the still-early Winter morning.

"You promised!" Kaho hissed venomously.

This time Eriol let the smirk emerge.

"But Kaho, my dear," he laughed. "I didn't even touch her."

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There. All done. It might need some work, but you get the gist, don't you? Next chapter, Tomoyo wakes up to find herself dead and in the care of our dear evil little Eriol. I assure you, it's not gonna be pretty. But more fun for me!

Hope you like.

- Spring