Disclaimer: As I've said before, I can't put a proper disclaimer on this one as no one really "owns" the Greek myths. So, I'll just say that I don't own them, which should suffice!
Author's Note: Just a little something of my favorite Greek mythological figures! I didn't have this Beta'd by someone else besides myself, but I hope it's still enjoyable to read. Please review, I'd appreciate it greatly. Oh, and… there might be a second chapter for all you lemon-lovers out there, but we'll see. I won't mark it complete just yet ;)
Hades stalked from the Elysian Fields, having placed Eurydice safely back within them. He knew Persephone wasn't content with the outcome; she'd been championing Orpheus so greatly, and though Hades would never admit it in front of a mortal, he'd felt for the man, as well. If he ever lost Persephone the way Orpheus had lost Eurydice… he couldn't imagine what kind of monster he would become. With that thought, he set off in search of his wife. Just to be near her for a few moments would ease the sudden ache he had in his chest.
Almost absentmindedly he made his way to their chambers, thinking she'd be there softly weeping, as she had been when she left the hall after the news of Orpheus looking back, therefore ruining his opportunity at ever having his Eurydice alive again. To his surprise, Persephone was not in their chambers. With a raised brow and a significant amount of concern, he made his way back to the grand hall, where they heard matters needing judgment. It was on his way to the hall that he came across one of the most shocking occurrences he'd ever witnessed in his extremely long, immortal life.
His gentle Persephone was stroking the nose of the middle head of Cerberus, one of the most fearsome creatures of their world – hence the beast's role in guarding the Underworld. She was cooing softly to the monster while he sprawled on the jagged terrain, wagging his great serpent-like tail at her tender words. Hades didn't have a clue what she was saying to the canine, but he frowned fiercely in response to the scene before him. It wasn't the first time Persephone had gone behind his back and tried to soften Hades' punishments. Upon hearing the great beast had let himself be lulled to sleep by Orpheus' music, Hades had gone directly to the guardian, and chastised him. The more Hades pondered it, however, the more he realized Persephone's actions didn't surprise him. Sometimes, she was just too damn gentle for her own good – one of the things that had drawn him to her in the first place. And, Hades realized grimly as he watched the wily snakes of Cerberus' mane curl lovingly around her wrist, he couldn't punish the creature again for becoming so docile – not when it was for his Queen.
Cerberus seemed to sense his presence then; the beast raised his three heads and stared warily over Persephone's head. Hades moved from his place in the shadows to stride toward them, hoping he radiated an aura of menace. But as soon as his Queen turned to look at him with a small, sad smile on her face, he knew he couldn't keep that act.
"Persephone," he murmured, when he reached her side. He lifted his hand, stroked his fingers down her petal-soft cheek. She leaned into his touch, making his heart flip over. Before her, he hadn't believed he had a heart. "Cerberus will no longer be fit to guard if you keep spoiling him so," he said teasingly, but his smirk didn't reach his eyes. He curled an arm around Persephone's waist and turned to lead her from the area, shooting a dark look at Cerberus as they moved down the path that would lead to the hall, and then on to their chambers.
"I know you are distressed," Hades started, but Persephone stopped and stared at him, her eyes peering into his very soul. He frowned down at her, not liking the true sadness he saw in his wife.
"Are you sure you understand? You were ruthless, Hades. Orpheus loved Eurydice so much he came after her… when have you ever come after me?" Her guileless green eyes were wide, and her slim arms rested stiffly at her side.
Hades recognized the same black mood fall he'd felt when Demeter had contested his right to Persephone so long ago, the dark feelings descending on him swiftly. He grabbed Persephone by her upper arms, and shook her lightly as he gritted out, "You think I do not understand that mortal's feelings? You know how I feel each time you leave me when spring arrives." He glared down at her, his hands tightening to the point where tears came into her eyes. "You know," he insisted angrily, willing her to comprehend his deep, weakened feelings without having him speak them aloud.
His gentle little wife fell against him then, her arms wrapping tightly around his waist, her cheek pressing against the cold black armor he wore. Hades cursed inwardly at himself; his old habits caused endless problems for them. He was ruthless, just like she'd accused him. But even though he'd been brutal, she was embracing him, accepting him, just as she'd done from the beginning…
"I'm sorry," she sniffled against his chest. "I do know how you feel, Hades, I just hate seeing them separated; it was as if I watched our parting and could do nothing to stop it…"
Hades pulled back and cupped her face in his hands. "I'm sorry, Persephone. You are my most precious treasure; I should never treat you in such a way."
"Don't apologize for your violent passions, Husband. It is one of the many reasons I love you." She held onto his forearms as she gazed up at him, and her eyes seemed lighter. "Are you terribly displeased about my expressing affection toward Cerberus? He is such a good beast, Hades. He does such a wonderful job, and he was so disheartened when you punished him."
The God of the Underworld eyed his wife as if she were daft. "He's a monster, Persephone, not a pet. I'll be most displeased if you turn my ferocious guardian into a tame little lamb."
Persephone smiled so beautifully then, Hades was entranced. He watched her turn, her hand entwined with his, and pull him toward their chambers. "Will you be so displeased you'll… punish me, Hades?" She was still so innocent after all these years, but with a mischievous spark and an ardent desire for her husband. Gods, how she pleased him. He followed mindlessly, and it dawned on him that while he'd been so worried about his Queen taming Cerberus, she'd gone and tamed him, instead.