The parting of Hades and Persephone always made Zeus uncomfortable.

It wasn't that either of them were particularly dramatic about the upcoming months of separation (although loathe to anyone to bothered Hades in the Underworld when his wife was gone from his side). It wasn't that they wept, or recited epics of their love, or anything else that would signify Aphrodite's over-passionate involvement. But all the same, Zeus was apt to look away when his elder brother and the royally-bedecked goddess of spring were saying their goodbyes.

Demeter did the opposite - staring with hard, narrow eyes as her daughter wavered at the line between the living and dead, fingers dancing with the desire to rip the threads of royalty from Persephone's body. Even Hera, stoic at his side, arched one thin brow at the way she was melting with need to replace the dark gown with maidenly white; the jewel at her Kore's throat with crowns of wispy flowers adorning her head.

Personally, Zeus thought black suited Persephone.

Hera sighed, reclining against the nearest tree, bored already with the proceedings. Neither husband nor wife spared her a glance. Ever slowly, their foreheads pressed together, in time with Demeter's deepening frown. Their whispered words were far too softly spoken for the audience surrounding them to hear. What, he wondered, could they still need to say, after all these partings?

There was a faint dusting of darkness over Persephone's thick-tressed hair; Zeus knew by now that it was Nyx, the night, seeing her Queen away in the only way she could. Persephone gave an equally faint smile, eyes never straying from her husband's. And then, as though it caused literal pain, they separated - Hades sinking into the dark, his Queen becoming ever bathed in light.

Demeter rushed forward, gathering her daughter in her ample arms. Hera gave a quiet sigh - he supposed she would, given that the intense reunion of mother and child was not something she practiced herself. Zeus found his eyes wandering to the mechanical movements of his daughter's body as she embraced her mother in kind, slender arms stiff around the older goddess' neck. He noticed, yes, but he pretended not to. He also noticed when she turned to the side under guise of pressing her head beneath her mother's chin, mouthing the words 'six months'into the distance. He pretended he didn't see that, too.

But mostly Zeus pretended that he hadn't caught the soft caress Persephone laid upon her belly, still within her mother's grasp.

Six months, indeed.