Notes: This story takes place in the TV series continuity. It also contains many characters that were not featured in the show and other versions of characters that were. A list and brief synopsis of each character will become available very shortly. I personally own only Persephone, Demeter, and Perseus. Hercules, Hades, Icarus, Cassandra, Tempest, Helen, Adonis, and any other characters used from the television show are all copyright to Disney and are used without permission. PLEASE don't sue me, I have no money, nor am I making any from this story. Andromeda, Hel, Hecate, Phinneus, plus any other characters not from the television show are all copyright to their respective creators and used with permission. For the most part, anyway. This story also may contain themes more adult in nature than most Disney projects, including (but not limited to) swearing, smoking, drinking, references to sex, and various acts of hedonism. No defamation of character or image is intended, merely a more accurate representation of a typical Prom night. Everything is meant in good fun and is hopefully taken that way. Please enjoy. :)
"You have got to be kidding me."
Of the large crowd gathered at the cafeterium's bulletin column, only one dared voice what many were thinking.
"A Prometheus Dance? Fabulous, life suddenly has meaning."
Given the fact that Cassandra could have majored in sarcasm, had she the desire, didn't seem to quell her peers' enthusiasm. Like a flash, the half of the student body on lunch break were out the doors and doing cartwheels on the Academy's lawn. Only a few stragglers remained to read the fine print on the hastily festive-looking parchment.
"Date required? No date no entry?" Hercules was the most civic-minded student currently enrolled and saw injustice in almost any situation, no matter how customary. No one was yet sure if it was all the hero training or if the boy was just naturally naive.
"Don't sound so shocked, it's the faculty's version of natural selection." Hel, another student who could rival Cassandra in the "cheerful" category spoke up. "Only the dateable portion of the student body gets to stand around in a dark, crowded room with people they don't like and drink bland punch."
"But that sounds like any dance. What's so special about this one?" Herc read over the fine print again, searching for a clue. "Formal dress required?"
Cassandra and Hel nodded in unison, identical expressions on their faces.
"Right. This way you get to stand around with a bunch of people you don't like, but you get to be in an outfit you paid way too much for, chafes in unmentionable places, and that three other people have an exact match of. Not to mention the shoes."
"My favorite part's the one where you find out how much it'll cost to get bland punch stains out."
"If it's all this trouble," Herc, being the voice of optimism, chimed in, "how come everyone gets excited to go?"
"Because," a new voice sauntered its way into the conversation, "it's not every day you get to get all dolled up and decked out and show it off to your peers."
The few remaining male heads in the room all whiplashed to keep Andromeda in view for as long as possible. Being half nymph and half god, she was a head-turner on her own, but her fashion sense was less than conservative as well. Needless to say, she was one of the more popular girls in the school, but not for the same reason that Helen was popular; the Trojan princess was a museum piece, you could look and admire the craftsmanship, but touching it was out of the question. Dromey, on the other hand, was a petting zoo.
"You're lucky," Hel whispered in Herc's ear, just loudly enough for everyone to hear, "last year she held a raffle to see who go to be her date. Biggest turn out for a school-related function in recorded history."
Lunch had proved to be too short for anyone to do any serious date-hunting. Except for Andromeda, who needed a separate satchel to carry her invitations. Being the only one not desperately scouring the countryside for anyone or anything they could weasel a 'yes' out of, she was on her way to her chariot to go home and sort through all her offers. She had just finished loading all her papers when a familiar form caught her eye.
"Hey, Seph!" she called. "Need a ride?"
Persephone's eyes flew open in surprise as they searched for the source of the voice. After spotting Dromey, she trotted over, carefully avoiding the other chariots making their way out of the parking lot. Even if she hadn't been a goddess, she would've been hard to miss. But as it was she was a rosy-colored, long legged goddess of striking looks. She also stood head and shoulders above most of the students and faculty at the school. She was also completely oblivious of the stares she garnered simply walking across the parking lot. Dromey never really understood the male fascination with attractive women who were unaware of themselves. Personally she found it a little annoying. Mostly because it tended to create transparent copycats, but Seph's oblivion was genuine, so she tolerated it.
"Hi, Dromey," the goddess beamed at her friend, "what's with the bag?" She indicated the sack of potential dates. The demigoddess explained as best she could, even throwing in a few amusing anticdotes of her attempted wooers that day. During the monologue, Seph climbed in the chariot and they managed to get out of the parking lot without major bodily damage, Dromey still talking about her day. Halfway through her schpiel on Achontus, the geek that sat behind her in History, she paused.
The young goddess snapped out of the reverie she'd slipped into. Dromey favored her with a scrutinizing look and decided she looked worn out.
"Still not sleeping, huh?" Seph shook her head wearily. "That's really weird, Seph, you might want to talk to your mom about it."
"Yeah, right." Persephone snorted. "If I tell her about it she'll either tell me it's all in my head, or she'll take me out of school, move to some remote place and squirrel me away from the rest of the world for the rest of my life."
Sadly enough, she was right. Demeter was the epitome of the overprotective mother. Every stereotype held true, and no exaggeration was out of character. She would go to any lengths to keep her daughter innocent, even going so far as to hire baby-sitters for her when she had to go out of town. Seph had been to Olympus once in her life, and that had been for Hercules's baby shower. And it had taken quite a bit of whining on her part to get her mother to let her go in the first place. After the minor skirmish with the lightning bolt and Hades, Demeter had put her foot down and said never again.
And all too soon, they were stopping at Seph's house. A quaint little cottage in the middle of nowhere, a place that few people knew about. To Demeter it meant security, to Persephone it was like something out of a slasher play. Of course she couldn't say anything to her about it, her mother would flip if she knew Seph had seen such a thing. So Persephone sat in her room, stewing in her own paranoia and felt certain someone was watching her.
Lunch the next day was fairly routine. Or at least for that time of year, everyone assured the inexperienced.
"Oh come on, lovikins!"
"Like I said before, drop dead. In every conceivable way."
"You're so hot when you play hard to get."
Icarus and Cassandra's banter actually gave people a sense of stability, that some things in the universe, no matter how chaotic seeming, would be nothing in comparison with teenagers in search of a Prom date.
In the lunch line:
"Oh please please please? Come on, you're my last hope!"
"For the last time, no. Warriors do not dance. They cut the throats of those who ask them more than twenty times before lunch."
At a central table in the cafeterium:
"Hmmmm, eenie, meenie, miney, moe..."
"Uh, Dromey, you're on my scroll."
"Okay, Gregarious is off the list. You gettin' this, Seph?"
"You tell me, sport. Where was I? Moe?"
In the Royal Box:
"Look at her! Just, just look! Flaunting herself like that!"
"Calm yourself, my good man. Let her have her fun with the common rabble, she can't do a thing with them anyway."
"That's right. That's right! She's mine! She has no right to flirt her way through the student body, she should be at my side at all times! She knows she's my date for the dance, why does she insist on torturing me so?"
"Haven't the foggiest."
Outside the boy's bathroom:
"Come on, Perseus, let's go already!"
"Yeah, man, you can stare at her any time you want to. We need to get some air."
"That be mutiny talk, lads!"
"Okay, you can stop the pirate thing anytime."
"Fine, okay. But come on, guys, just a bit longer. She's picking the guy to draw the name for her raffle!"
"Oh brother. Look, Pers, you entered your name as often as humanly possible, already. If she picks your name, she picks it, and if she doesn't she doesn't. Us still being here when it happens won't matter. Now let's go!"
"Just a minute!"
"That's it, I'm outta here. Can I bum a smoke, Atreus?"
"Aww, man! You still owe me three from last week! I'm gonna need a new pack tomorrow if you keep this up."
"Thanks. This really bites, Pers. Just talk to her like a person, huh? This obsession is crimping our lunch."
"Yeah, man, get a life already."
Hades leaned back in his skeletal lawnchair and absently flicked the mute button on his Tarterus Vision remote control. It would take a lot of fancy mental footwork, but he might be able to twist this scenario into something useful to his takeover plot. All he needed was a few quiet minutes with no distractions and total concentration--
"Hey boss, wasn't that the goddess you have the hots for?"
The god of the Underworld's wrathful smiting of his two minions died in it's preliminary stages as he dove for the remote. "What? WHERE???" He desperately flicked buttons and scoured the TV screen.
"What's her name? Persimmon?"
"I think it's Perplexity."
"Are you sure? I'm thinking it's Permission."
The two minions continued bantering while their employer lost the battle with his gadgets. "Blue?? No, I don't want everything blue, I want you to rewind!!!"
"I'm telling you, it's Perspicacity!"
As if on cue, Hades' coveted image appeared onscreen and the furious onslaught on his remote stopped.
"Boys! Enough with the verbal tennis already! Go play in the Phlegethon, or something." As the imps left, still arguing, the dark Lord of the Underworld began hatching a plot of a different sort. Olympus forgotten for the moment, he was seeing a window of opportunity being opened for him. Far be it from him to pass it by.
Exhausted but triumphant, Hercules finally sat in his customary spot with his customary company. Icarus waggled his eyebrows in a silent inquiry as to his friend's pursuits. In response, Herc's face split into a wide grin as he bit into his now cold lunch.
"All right!" The brainfried youth jumped on top of the table and gave his friend two big thumbs up. "You finally wore her down, huh? Way to go, man!"
"Yeah," was Herc's bashfully happy response, "I only had to beg on my knees for a few minutes, too."
Cassandra's snort of disdain broke off the victory party before her. "Please. If you had to go through all that just to get her to say yes, how much fun do you think she's really going to be?"
"I don't care, anything's better than my last date for the Aphrodesia."
"And who's fault was that?"
The young hero sighed. "Mine, but--"
"So this time instead of creating a woman who won't leave you alone for two minutes, you pester one who won't give you the time of day. Tell me where the upside is, I can't see through all the glaringly obvious flaws in your plan."
Herc sighed again. "I see your point, I'll go tell her to forget it." He moved to get up.
"Oh that's even better. You finally pester her all through lunch and then you turn around and decide she's not worth it anymore. Can't wait to see which parts of you they can manage to find before sixth period."
"Well then what should I do?"
"Well," purred Dromey, strolling over to their table, "what you should've done was ask me first."
The handsome demigod gaped at the blue-haired vision before him. "You mean... you wanted to go with me?"
In response she blinked at him and smiled in sweet yet unconscious condescension. "Oh sweetie, no! Please! I meant I might've had someone else in mind for you to go with." She broke into giggles at the thought of her dating the clumsy upperclassman.
"Uhh, well who'd you have in mind?" Hercules tried vainly to hide his pricked feelings. Cassandra and Icarus just looked on at the spectacle in front of them.
"Persephone, hon. She doesn't have a date yet."
At the mention of her name, the goddess looked up in wide-eyed confusion from where she had been tallying votes for dance royalty. Dispite many disasters in it's short-lived career, the democratic vote for such things had become rather popular. Everyone liked the illusion of control, even if they didn't care too much for the person that got elected.
"She doesn't have a date yet?" Icarus blurted. "Man! I thought she was gonna be one of the first ones to go."
Dromey rolled her eyes. No one ever figured on the intimidation factors of dating a goddess who was taller than any guy at the school (boys were so funny about that) and her mother. Demeter would probably turn purple if she thought her only daughter was going to a school dance, Seph wasn't even allowed to attend the Olympian parties. So if there was any hope of her getting to go, and Dromey knew for a fact that she wanted to, it would have to be with a guy of unimpeachable moral character, who would be prompt picking her up and dropping her off, and who wouldn't try monkeying around with her. The only person who came to mind was Hercules, but now that he was unavailable Dromey found herself having to scheme up a way to get around Demeter's strict possessiveness and to convince Seph that it was all for the best. Not an enviable position, to be sure, but certainly workable. All she really needed was a suitable date for her.
"Look after the place for a bit, boys, I'm goin' topside." Hades was gone before Pain and Panic's sharp salutes turned to sly grins and they scampered off to the throne room to play Ping-Pong.
Pinneus truly hated the drudgery of school. Everything was far too meticulously planned out, the schedule far too rigid. Unlike Adonis's parents who granted his every wish and desire simply to keep him out of their perfectly coiffed hairdos, the royal parents of Prince Phinneus refused to send him to school with his own armed laugh track. He had no one to carry his scrolls for him, fetch his lunch, or beat up his rivals. The first two he could cope with, but the last caused him nothing but hardship. It was what had put him in a dour mood as he walked to his locker, shooting everything around him a look as scathing as he could make it without losing his princly dignity. Even the lock seemed to whither under his fingers. In fact the whole front of his locker was uncommonly warm and a faint smell of brimstone wafted out from the edges. Furious, Phinneus yanked the door open, ready to give Tarterus to whoever or whatever was in there.
"Boo." Hades stated with an evil smirk.
"GAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!" responded Phinneus as he dropped all of his books and felt a sudden urgency to find a bathroom. "What are you doing here???" he whispered fiercly once he had caught his breath and gotten his bladder back under control.
"Got an assignment for you."
"This couldn't wait until after school?"
"No. I need you to set something up for me, okay? It's extremely important, so if you mess it up..." he snapped and a tiny streak of fire lanced across the prince's throat just close enought to lightly singe him.
"All right, I'll do it," Phinneus gulped, "but what can I do that's so important? I don't have much sway here, especially with anything that's of any interest to you."
Hades paused for a short moment. "Tell me, this dance, this Prometheus Dance thing--"
"Whatever." The Lord of the Dead's hair surged an angry orange before returning to normal. "This is strictly invitation only. RSVP, formal dress, date with corsage, all that, right?"
Phinneus nodded in confusion. "But what does--?"
"Great. I need a date."
"In specific terms, I need a date with Persephone. Whom I believe you are an aquaintance of, am I right?"
"RIGHT???" Red flames erupted from Phinneus's locker.
"Heh." He looked nervously at the students that stared in wary curiosity. "Chemistry experiment." he explained lamely. Then back to a fierce whisper to the interior of his locker: "Do we really have to do this now? People are staring!"
"Quit whining and just do it. Geez, do I have to give you a motivational speech? You're my minion, go do your minioney duty, or whetever and stop stalling before I really lose my temper."
"But I don't know her personally, she's friends with my fiancee." he spat the last word out of his mouth like he was expecting it to turn into a cockroach.
"So? Pull a string here or there, schmooze, set something up. Come on, is it that hard for you to think on your own, or what?"
"Yeah, like I can get her to do anything for me. She refuses to even go to the dance with me, all right? How much control could I possibly have over her now? She raffled herself off for a date, for pity's sake!"
Hades, long becoming tired of this conversation, could have cared less about his lackey's love-life, but anything to shut the little bugger up. The guy was a bigger whiner than his buddy Adonis.
"All right, all right, all right, already! Here," A contract flaired into being in Phinneus's hands, "she's obligated to go with you, it's right in the fine print, boom, you happy yet?" Judging from the smile on the young man's face, he was. "Swell. Now get out there and do... whetever you have to. Okay? Are we crystal yet?"
"Perfectly. I'm going to make sure Perseus never forgets this. He thought he could take my fiancee, well I've showed him, haven't I? HA!" Hades looked severely unimpressed as his underling ranted to no one in particular. After a moment he finally gave up and disappeared back to an inconspicuous perch to make sure nothing got out of hand before he had what he wanted. Phinneus didn't even notice.
"Talking to your locker again, Phinneus?" Cassandra opened her own locker and took out her History scroll, not even that interested in whether he gave her an answer.
"You bet I am, woman! And I have in my hands the ticket to my redemption! You see that? That'll show him...." He walked off muttering to himself.
"And they say I'm cracked," the seer grumbled, wrinkling her nose at his apparant choice of cologne that was flooding the hall. Who in their right mind wore Ode de Sulfer, anyway?