Title: Something Old
Word Count: 1,505
Summary: In which a kidnapping isn't really a kidnapping and ends in a wedding.
A/N: Inspired by a conversation with goldfishlover73 on the kakasaku livejournal community on one of my future projects. She made a comment about role-reversing Sakura as Hades and Kakashi as Persephone with Gai as Demeter, and madness ensued. This is what came out at the end.
Dedicated to goldfishlover73 who inspired this rule-63-eqsue Kakasaku adaptation of the Greek Myth of Hades and Persephone.
Dust kicked up as he plodded the empty road. The green of his toga was faded and uncommonly loose, a reflection of his soul probably.
Stooping to the ground, Gai stopped to cup the soil, watching it slip through his fingers into the embrace of the heartless zephyrs around him. The shriveled remains of a wheat stalk tangled in his fingers. His domain was in tatters, arid and barren, reflecting the feelings beating within his heart. Around the world, he heard the cries of the starving, the aged mothers and hungry crying babes; however, he steeled his heart against them. Though it wounded him to hear their sorrows, nothing could match the wound inflicted upon his soul.
Throwing the wheat stalk down, Gai dropped to his knees and threw his arms up supplicant towards the sky.
"Oh Lady Tsunade, ruler of all that is just and right, if you are truly deserving of your youth, why will you not help me in the search for my beautiful son?! I know he is difficult at times, but merciful Zeus, you defy your domain by not giving me aid. To sit by while a family is in upheaval defies the order to which you govern. Tis not youthful!" he sobbed, pounding the dirt for good measure.
A distant part of him realized he was courting danger. Lady Tsunade's temper was not one to trifle with (her lightning strikes were met with deadly accuracy), but what else could a grieving parent do? He had only taken his eyes off of Kakashi for a second when they were relaxing in the field, and the next thing he knew, his son had been stolen by Hades, never to be seen again.
He had begged for help from his fellow gods, but none dared venture into the realm of the Underworld, and now he wandered the world looking for his son alone with nary a friend. Meanwhile, the world was suffering a famine unlike any it had ever seen, and while it was indeed cruel to punish the world for the unfeeling behavior of his brothers and sisters, he could not bring himself to do anything else. Abandoned by his family, he could not help but abandon the world until his son was found.
He could only imagine what his son was going through: cold, scared, and as alone as he was in the underworld. No light could reach him. His little ball of sunshine and spring would wither away, and it was enough to send Gai into another wave of uncontrollable sobbing.
Or it would have if the ground hadn't begun shaking and the sun shrank from his view.
'MERCIFUL HEAVENS, I HAVE TESTED LADY TSUNADE TOO MUCH AT LAST!' He threw himself at the ground, cowering. He only prayed that his death would be short—as he knew that the gods had a wicked humor unbefitting their youth.
But the bolt of electricity never came. What was thrown instead was a rather tall, gangly body.
"I believe this is yours," a high female voice announced with annoyance. Eyes focusing, Gai spied the familiar form of his son righting himself. Tears pricked his eyes.
"My youthful son! My eternal spring of joy!" he wept, hugging his son before training his eyes on the petite pink-haired goddess sharing the road. In the back of his mind, Gai wondered how strange it was that the mortals' depiction of the god of death could be so far from the source. Then again, they seemed to have switched all the genders of the gods to begin with, so perhaps he would have to simply forgive their mistakes. Tsunade certainly did.
"You! My dear sister Sakura, how could you wound me so? How dare you take my son? How dare you kidnap my little ball of spring and sunshine and light?!" he roared.
"Hey, don't pin this on me! I found your son sneaking around my domain!" she snapped. "One minute, I'm in the middle of a board meeting, and next thing I know, your 'ball of sunshine' comes sailing in from the ceiling and lands on the entertainment. Those were important people I had at the meeting, and I needed them happy. Do you know how hard it is to get people like that to laugh? They're all a bunch of stiffs!"
Her arms flew up in complaint, fingers pointing accusingly at the cause of all her supposed-misery. The color of his toga fading back to its pale, worn green, he turned a horrified eye back to his son.
"Oh my youthful son, rose of my breast, say it isn't so! Please, bounty of my loins and joy of my soul, tell me this isn't so! And—" His eyes bulged in horror, steady hands patting Kakashi's face fretfully. "Oh, what happened to your beautiful hair?!" he wept.
On the side of the road, Sakura struggled to take the scene in. "I thought you were kidding about the whole over-dramatic 'fruit-of-my-loins, eternal-spring-of-my-joy' thing," she cringed, nose scrunching in disgust as the waterworks sprouting from Demeter's eyes somehow managed to increase even further.
"Gai, my hair has always been this color." Kakashi sighed and patiently bore the clingy, moist hands pressing upon his face and person as best he could. At the familiar sticky sensation of tears and mucus soaking his toga, his shoulders sagged a little in defeat and an exasperated hand touched his face. "This kind of behavior is precisely why I ran away in the first place."
The complaint was spoken off-hand, but it might as well have been a dagger steeped in the poison that stole mighty Hercules from his surface. His hand clutched his chest. "Kakashi, you can't mean that. It's not youthful!"
"He does. He ran to my domain precisely because he knew you'd never be able to touch him there. You or anyone else," Sakura sighed before leveling a biting stare at the silver-haired man.
"And when he found out I was dragging him back to you, the little brat stole my breakfast and ate it! Now, because of some anachronistic rules (and some other stuff that happened), we're married and I'm stuck with him for a third of the year. Congratulations, your son is now a blushing bride," she intoned, earning her a disapproving glare from her new spouse. Of course, that look was soon overshadowed by yet another display of impressive waterworks as Gai decried the loss of Persephone, his only son.
The display was soon forgotten though as Sakura began to walk away from the scene. After all, there was still work to be done and Gai's little stunt meant more souls to be added, sorted, and placed in their respective places in the underworld. Her minions were already working overtime, and a hasty return seemed to be the best course.
As she stepped away, Kakashi joined her, perhaps as a gesture of spousal affection, or simply as an excuse to escape his father. Gently, his hand steered her further down the road.
"You know you owe me indefinitely now, right? First you steal my breakfast and now, you've saddled me with a mother-in-law from Tartarus. This was not what I had in mind when I woke up this morning. I hadn't been expecting to marry for a few more centuries, if at all," she remarked.
Beside her, Kakashi shrugged, nonplussed. Being indebted to Sakura was not something he particularly minded. After all, she was saving him from spending a full 365-day year with his overbearing father, and the fact that Kakashi chose death over that kind of fate was not lost on them. If anything, Sakura was now more sympathetic having met her exhausting new in-law. Of course, the drawback was that it now emphasized just how indebted to her he really was.
Hand drifting from her shoulder to the small of her back, he leaned down to be level with her ear, "I'll do that thing you like when I get back to the Underworld."
"You'll do all those things I like," she challenged. Kakashi pressed a kiss to her brow, the hint of a smile on his lips. "Done."
"Until the fallow season then. I'll be waiting, Kakashi," Sakura called over her shoulder, her vibrant green eyes flashing with a promise from under thick lashes. Then, raising her arm, the pink-haired woman plunged her fist to the ground, rock and earth splitting beneath her hand as she stepped into the darkness below.
Then, as quickly as it came, the hole disappeared and the earth slammed shut behind her. Despite having seen it for himself, Gai blinked disbelievingly at the only trace of Sakura's descent, a thin crack in the soil.
"My sister is…what a way to go," he breathed in awe.
Kakashi, also staring at the crack in the ground, clapped a hand on his father's shoulder. "Sakura is certainly fond of the dramatic exit," he agreed before steering them both towards Mount Olympus. There was news to be shared, after all.